5. Fit & Proper forms

5:1 The suitability assessments carried out by the NBB(/ECB) are primarily based on a variety of information that institutions and persons subject to suitability assessment should provide to it, using the standard forms that the NBB(/ECB) has prepared for that purpose. These forms enable financial institutions to provide information and documentation to the NBB/(ECB) about the expertise and professional integrity of the persons to be assessed in a consistent and uniform manner.

5:2 Where a standard form is to be signed "by the institution concerned", this should be understood to mean the following, subject to the provisions of the articles of association governing the representation of the statutory governing body:

  • if the form concerns the chair of the board of directors, it should be signed by two other non-executive directors;
  • if the form concerns a member of the management committee or a person responsible for an independent control function, it should be signed by the chair of the statutory governing body and the chair of the management committee;
  • if the form concerns the chair of the management committee, it should be signed by the chair of the statutory governing body;
  • if the form concerns another member of the statutory governing body, it should be signed by the chair of the statutory governing body.

5.1 New appointment

5:3 Where the candidate takes up a new position, the standard form "New appointment" should be completed. It is also applicable in the event of a material change of function, in particular with regard to the division of tasks between the members of the statutory governing body of the institution (e.g. new appointment as chair of a specialised committee) and the members of the management committee[1]

5:4 For each type of institution there is a specific version of this form covering the five suitability criteria. It covers the 5 suitability assessment criteria[2] and should be signed by the institution itself as well as by the person concerned.

5:5 As indicated in Communication NBB_2021_04 of 19 January 2021 concerning the HIVE project and the digitalisation of the fit & proper process, this form should be submitted to the NBB/ECB exclusively electronically through the appropriate portals: 

  • for significant credit institutions: the ECB portal;
  • for less significant credit institutions and all other institutions: the NBB portal.

5:6 The links to the relevant portals can be found on the NBB's website. The form for significant credit institutions subject to ECB supervision is harmonised for all countries where the ECB is the competent supervisor, but some questions/sections take into account national specificities. These specificities, which are listed at the end of the form, should be consulted by the candidates concerned before they complete the form.

5:7 It is important to emphasize that the NBB(/ECB) will not start the assessment until it has received a duly completed standard form.

5:8 The form should be signed by the person concerned and the institution in accordance with the instructions provided for this purpose on the ECB and NBB portals.

5.2 New elements

5:9 When new elements arise that may affect one or more of the 5 criteria for assessing the suitability of a person subject to suitability assessment or the collective suitability of a decision-making body, the institution must immediately inform the NBB/ECB by submitting a “New elements” form. In this form, the institution should provide a detailed description of these new elements and their impact on the aforementioned individual or collective suitability assessment. It should also indicate whether these new elements have led/will lead to a formal reassessment of the individual suitability of the person concerned or the collective suitability of the decision-making body in question and, if not, the institution should specify the reasons that led it to conclude that a formal reassessment is not necessary. If a formal reassessment has taken place, the institution should also specify its outcome in the form. After examining this information, the NBB/ECB assesses whether it is appropriate to reassess the individual suitability of the person concerned or the collective suitability of the decision-making body in question.

5:10 The "New elements" form is also applicable when a manager in office takes on a new external function. In this case, the form may be submitted retrospectively and should include: (i) the start and end dates of the external function concerned, (ii) the precise identification details of the company, undertaking or institution where the external function is performed (including capital links or membership of the same group), (iii) the characteristics of the external function performed, (iv) the authorisation procedure followed by the institution's bodies, and (v) the conclusions of the analysis of the impact of this external function on the time commitment and independence of mind of the person concerned.

5:11 As indicated in Communication NBB_2021_04 concerning the HIVE project and the digitalisation of the fit & proper process, a standard form for submitting such information is available on the NBB portal. This "New elements" form applies to all financial institutions covered by this Manual (including significant credit institutions under ECB supervision). The link to this portal can be found on the NBB's website.

5:12 This form should be signed by the person concerned and the institution in accordance with the instructions provided for this purpose on the NBB portal.

5.3 Exit

5:13 If a person ceases to hold a position requiring a suitability assessment, the NBB wishes to receive information in this respect. In this case too, in accordance with Communication NBB_2021_04, a standard form available on the NBB portal (OneGate and soon Hive) should be used. This “Exit” form applies to all financial institutions covered by this Manual (including significant credit institutions under ECB supervision).

5:14 The link to this portal can be found on the NBB's website. 

5:15 This form should be signed by the institution in accordance with the instructions provided for this purpose on the NBB portal.

5:16 In the event of replacement of a person subject to a suitability assessment, two forms should be filled in: an “Exit” form for the person who ceases to hold the position and a “New appointment” form for the person who wishes to hold the position.

5.4 Reappointment

5:17 Where an institution wishes to reappoint a person to a position requiring a suitability assessment, a standard form should also be completed. In this case, in accordance with Communication NBB_2021_04, the “Reappointment” form available on the NBB portal (OneGate and soon Hive) should be used. This form applies to all financial institutions covered by this Manual (including significant credit institutions under ECB supervision). 

5:18 The link to this portal can be found on the NBB's website. 

5:19 This form should be signed by the person concerned and the institution in accordance with the instructions provided for this purpose on the NBB portal.

[1] See inter alia article 60, §3 of the banking law and article 81, §3 of the insurance supervision law. 

[2] For a material change of function, the NBB/ECB may, on a case-by-case basis, indicate that certain parts of the “New Appointment” form should not be filled in.

Annexes