General aspects

This Chapter applies to significant credit institutions and other institutions (i.e. (mixed) financial holding companies) that are subject to direct supervision by the ECB pursuant to Article 6(4) and (5)(b) of the SSM Regulation.

Application of the suitability requirements to these institutions is in line with the rules of the so-called Single Supervisory Mechanism (hereinafter “SSM”). Specifically, this means that, although the ECB has competence for significant institutions, it is the task of the national competent authorities to assist the ECB in its supervisory activities. The NBB provides such assistance in the context of the Joint Supervisory Teams, which are the institutions' first point of contact. The term 'supervisor' therefore refers to the NBB and ECB working together within the aforementioned mechanism, and will therefore further be referred to as 'NBB/ECB' in this handbook.

The ECB has further explained the major steps of the suitability procedure and the cooperation with the national competent authorities on its website[1] by means of a short instructional video and a schematic representation of the suitability process:

Schema Fit & Proper

[1], see item “Fit and Proper Assessment”, for the instructional video and schematic representation.