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Permission for trading platforms; Trading platforms under supervision when providing payment services

  • Netherlands


    Recently, the Dutch Central Bank (De Nederlandsche Bank (DCB)) announced that trading platforms that are currently excluded from the license requirement as payment service provider (betaaldienstverlener), when providing payment services as a complementary service to their main activity, may have to apply for a license as a payment service provider.

    As of 13 January 2018, trading platforms can no longer use the current exception since, under the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD II) (herziene Richtlijn Betaaldiensten), such activities qualify as payment services, even if they are not the main activity of the payment service provider.

    DCB describes a trading platform as websites and / or apps for bringing together supply and demand of goods and services. A well-known example in the Netherlands would be Marktplaats. If such a trading platform facilitates payments between parties (either on their own account or via a customer accounts foundation affiliated with the trading platform (stichting derdengelden)), then the platform provides payment services. Until now, DCB has taken the view that in case facilitating payment services is complementary to the main activity of a trading platform, it is excluded from the license requirement. However, with the implementation of PSD II, this exception expires and the trading platform may need a license if it wishes to facilitate payments by buyers to sellers. DCB indicates that in such case a license will be required as of 13 January 2018.

    A license obligation implies that the trading platform must establish its business operations in accordance with the provisions of the Dutch Financial Supervision Act (Wet op het financieel toezicht). This means that they have to implement a number of procedures, for example in terms of integrity and conflicts of interest. Such a trading platform will also be bound by certain remuneration rules and the appropriate persons should be tested for suitability (eligibility and integrity).

    Given the duration of a license application process and the preparation time for the actual license application with DCB, we advise trading platforms to check in time whether their activities require a license. Eversheds Sutherland’s Banking & Finance team can assist you in making such an assessment as well as the (preparation of) the application with DCB.

    For questions, please feel free to contact us

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    This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.

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