NETHERLANDS - The controversial merger between the Dutch Central Bank and the Pensions and Insurance Supervisory Authority of the Netherlands has been completed – meaning the PVK has ceased to exist.

They said the merger officially began on October 30. According to a statement, the completion also means the effective end of the parliamentary stage. The new organisation will be working under the name of the DNB (Nederlandsche Bank).

DNB spokesman Herman Lutke Schipholt told IPE that the merger has been presented in the Staatsblad on October 30, coming into effect November 1. This is a logical result of the passing of the bill through the parliament and the approval of the senate on October 12.

When asked on the specific consequences of the DNB and PVK’s pension funds, Lutke Schipholt stated that these issues are still being discussed. But he added they would be dealt with before the end of 2005. Schipholt stated that the PVK has ceased to exist - the new organisation is now the DNB.

According to Nout Willink, president of the DNB, the merger has been necessary to set up a strong and viable financial supervisor, who can assess all current and future threats and changes to the sector.

The DNB said the merger marks the second of three steps in an extensive restructuring of financial supervision in the Netherlands that began in 2002. The third step will be the completion of the new umbrella Financial Supervision Act during 2005.

The new merged entity will act largely as the prudential supervisor for the entire financial sector, Willink indicated.