NETHERLANDS – The larger Dutch pensions providers and asset managers, including the €314bn APG and €125bn PGGM, will now have more leeway when referring to the identity of their clients.

According to APG, now that the Dutch parliament has approved changes to the Industry-wide Pension Funds Act 2000, the legal constraints are to be relaxed from 1 July 2013, allowing clients to reveal the identity of their providers.

However, all parties must still limit any references to "functional mentions" and refrain from making any commercial statements.

APG said the relaxation of the rules would increase transparency in Dutch pension markets and provide more clarity for participants and employers.

Marijke Colly, a senior policy employee at APG's strategy and policy department, said: "Our clients will face less discussions with the supervisor about their being mentioned by their provider or vice versa."

According to Colly, the constraints had hindered APG's operations as a commercial enterprise.

"Even if third parties write about us and link us with clients, it can have financial repercussions for our clients, or lead to discussions with supervisors," she said, adding that this had resulted in "awkward situations".

The legal restrictions had been introduced to prevent the larger and more well-known industry-wide pension funds and affiliated companies from competing "unfairly" with insurers.

The Dutch pensions regulator has fined ABP in the past for being too open about the identity of its clients.

APG is the pensions provider and asset manager for the €274bn civil service scheme ABP, while PGGM provides these services for the €125bn healthcare scheme PFZW.