Euroclear Nederland is now taking measures to remove all paper-based securities certificates in the Netherlands, in compliance with an amendment to the Dutch Securities Giro Act (“Wet giraal effectenverkeer”).
Signalling a move towards full securities dematerialisation in the Netherlands by the end of 2013, the revised legislation, which took effect on 1 January 2011, means that:
• all Dutch securities currently in paper form that are held by Euroclear Nederland will be converted to either global notes (one immobilised certificate representing the entire security issue) or dematerialised securities after a two-year migration period;
• as of 1 January 2011, Euroclear Nederland will no longer accept physical securities, other than global notes, within the Netherlands to deposit in its vaults;
• as of 1 January 2011, Dutch issuers of new securities can only issue dematerialised securities (registered in the name of Euroclear Nederland) or as a global note to deposit with Euroclear Nederland; and
• as of 1 January 2013, transfer of physical securities, other than global notes, will no longer be possible.
Hugo Spanjer, member of the Euroclear Nederland management committee, commented: “The process of securities dematerialisation in the Netherlands has taken a giant leap forward in recent years. For example, just five years ago, we estimated around seven million physical securities were in our system. Today, that figure is approximately 400,000. As a result of the new legislation, it will be easier, less expensive and safer for Dutch issuers to raise capital and end investors to trade and own Dutch securities. For example, where fraudulent and stolen physical securities are a real market concern and cost, dematerialisation will address these issues.”
Ruud Sleenhoff, chairman of DACSI (the Dutch Advisory Committee Securities Industry), expressed: “It is of vital importance that our national authorities safeguard the soundness and competitiveness of the Dutch securities markets, which the new Securities Giro Act aims to achieve. The DACSI therefore supports this solid legislation that will strengthen securities ownership protection. It will apply to retail as well as institutional investors and, what is more, corporate issuers will benefit from cost efficiencies. An efficient marketplace benefits all participants and makes the Dutch market more attractive for issuers and investors in Europe and beyond.”