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Dutch watchdog to survey pension funds at risk of corruption

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Pensions regulator De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) has announced that it is looking into the risk of corruption at Dutch pension funds. 

The DNB is to conduct a survey – meant as a follow-up to last year’s guide on best practices for fighting corruption – to gain a better understanding of the more “vulnerable” activities and processes at Dutch schemes.

The regulator said it has already compiled a selection of schemes with “high-risk” profiles.

It declined, however, to identify any of the schemes, or the total number of schemes listed.

Ben Feiertag, spokesman for the DNB, took pains to emphasise that the survey had not been triggered by any specific incident within the pensions sector, and that similar surveys would be conducted at Dutch banks and insurers.

The DNB said the results of the survey would help pension funds contain a number of corruption risks.

It said these risks could arise where a “knowledge monopoly” was combined with a concentration of power, adding that remote offices posed a particular risk.

According to the regulator, third parties also represent a potential integrity risk, as these relationships – as well as connected private interests – can affect decision making.

The DNB warned that bribery and conflicts of interest could destabilise not only the pension funds involved but also the entire Dutch pensions sector, due to the potential for “social outrage”.

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