Monday, February 10, 2003

Paying for supervision.. who's auditing?

Het Financieele Dagblad reports that Dutch banks will soon have to pay for the cost of the supervisor. Yet, in exchange the banks demand a tighter control on the expenses (as they believe these expenses are too high). Two models are now being discussed:

1-a percentage of 15 % of the supervision budget will be paid out of public funds, the rest is to be paid by the supervised organisations,

2-all expenses will be paid by the supervised organisations but an overseeing budget council will monitor the development of these expenses.

One option, not in public discussion is to assign the budget monitoring role to the Algemene Rekenkamer (the national audit institution). This organisation will need to visit the central bank/supervisor anyhow, as De Nederlandsche Bank is a very hybrid organisation that combines the provision of public/private services and also recieves considerable income (seigniorage on bank notes). Any such organisation must be audited, if only to maintain a level playing field vis a vis the private sector. So DNB has a strong need to establish proper internal accounting and expense allocation systems that allow their private services to be competitively priced and their public services to be properly monitored. And the national audit institution is the appropriate organisation to audit this.