Trust matters

Publication number: 2011-50
Authors: P. Risseeuw, R. Dosker
Commissioned by: International Management Services Association (VIMS) & Dutch Fiduciary Association (DFA)
Published by: SEO Economic Research
ISBN: 978-90-6733-616-1

The Netherlands has a long tradition in international trade. There is a sophisticated network of trade supporting industries and an internationally oriented regulatory environment. The Netherlands is an attractive place for multinational operating corporations, thanks to an extensive network of bilateral tax agreements, the participation exemption and, most important, a stable and reliable fiscal climate with adequate supervision. The Dutch trust industry provides multinational operating companies with an infrastructure for international financial and fiscal planning, in which the Netherlands acts as a pivot point.

In 2009 155 trust firms (by 2011: 176) operated in a legal regime, under supervision of the Dutch Central Bank. These firms serviced about 16 400 international clients, who together held just over 20 000 legal entities in the Netherlands. The trust firms, together employing about 2 200 professionals
and clerical staff, provide management and corporate services to their clients, and coordinate professional services: legal and tax advice, auditing and banking services. These service providers offer another 1 300 jobs in the professional business and financial industries. Next to this highly qualified employment, the benefits for the Netherlands consist of just over one billion euro in taxes (in 2009), extra demand for business travel and hospitality services, and above all a strong position as a hub in international financial services and international trade.

The trust sector appears to be crisis proof. Regardless the plummeting of international trade, the client base (measured in the number of clients and the number of legal entities managed) remained stable between 2006 and 2009. Turnover of the trust firms services increased, and employment grew accordingly, mainly due to higher requirements on substance and compliance. These requirements make the Netherlands more expensive as a location for domicile for multinational companies.

Category: 2011