Ethics Enforcement

Compliance with codes of conduct is an essential element of the self-regulation of the financial sector. Unfortunately, history has proven that this does not work if it is not enforced. DSI has therefore made Ethics Enforcement one of its three priorities, along with Screening and Certification.

The DSI Foundation facilitates an ethics committee and an appeals committee. These committees can take disciplinary action if an employee in the financial sector violates the Code of Conduct and draws negative attention to the financial sector. The measures can vary from reprimands or fines to suspension or expulsion from the DSI registers.

Individuals certified by DSI are subject to the Code of Conduct and the attendant ethics regulations.

Employers are also committed to comply with ethics legislation

If you are an employer whose employees are registered with DSI, then you have committed to abide by the Code of Conduct and the obligation to report any violations of the code. If you discover that one of your certified employees has violated DSI’s Code of Conduct, then you are obliged to report him or her to DSI - even if you have already taken disciplinary measures yourself.

This is because DSI’s core mission is to ensure a clean, fair and honest financial sector, and that can only be accomplished if financial institutions support one another by cooperating via DSI. We have therefore created a public register listing all DSI-certified individuals.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • First: what is ethics enforcement?

    The definition of ethics enforcement is: ‘the legal rules for discipline in an organisation or professional group’. DSI has drawn up a Code of Conduct together with institutions in the financial sector, which employees certified by DSI are obliged to comply with. If these individuals violate the Code of Conduct, DSI can subject them to ethics enforcement measures.

  • How do employers deal with employees who have been sanctioned?

    For employers, an employee who has been sanctioned by the DSI ethics committee is naturally a compelling circumstance. There have been cases of employers parting ways with an employee as a result of their being sanctioned by DSI. Some employers take their own disciplinary measures and then report the incident to us as part of their obligation to report. In these cases, the DSI Ethics Committee can take into consideration the fact that the employer has already taken disciplinary measures in its verdict.

  • What is the relationship between ethics enforcement and civil law (Kifid)?

    Civil law deals with obtaining verdicts in cases in which financial damages have been incurred, and who is responsible for compensating the damages. The duty of care is often a major consideration in these cases. Ethics enforcement deals with reviewing the behaviour of professionals based on the applicable professional standards.

  • Is the person reporting an incident also a party in an ethics case?

    No. DSI may call on the person reporting the incident as a witness if the issue is dealt with by our independent Ethics Committee.

  • Is the DSI Ethics Committee independent?

    The committee is fully independent, and consists primarily of attorneys, compliance experts and experts in the field. The same applies to the Appeals Committee.

  • Does DSI publish the disciplinary measures taken?

    Yes, all disciplinary measures are accessible to the public under the name of the certified individual in the public register for a period of three years.  DSI also publishes all verdicts of the Ethics Committee and all disciplinary measures taken. These publications change the names of the parties involved and are used to provide examples for teaching purposes. 

  • Are institutions always required to report an employee who violates the DSI Code of Conduct?

    Yes, employers who are affiliated with DSI (DSI participants) are required to report employees when they suspect that a DSI-certified employee has violated the Code of Conduct.

  • Are all employees in the financial sector subject to DSI ethics enforcement?

    No. Only those who are certified by DSI.

  • Why is the Code of Conduct necessary?

    One of DSI’s objectives is to help keep the financial sector free of incidents caused by employees who do not follow the rules. This benefits not only the consumer, but the sector as well. To achieve this objective, it must be possible to hold people working in the sector accountable for their actions. One way to do this is by drawing up a Code of Conduct and then strictly enforce its provisions.

  • We already have laws, so why do we need ethics enforcement?

    The recent past has proven that criminal law alone is not sufficient to change behaviour and to restore confidence in the sector.  Criminal law is based on narrowly specific descriptions of criminal activity, and is therefore very strictly defined (black-white). Ethics enforcement is based on open norms and looks at issues from a different perspective. The review context is broader, and may include issues such as propriety, norms and values. It is more effective to review the behaviour of professionals in their professional activity based on open norms.

  • What happens when someone is sanctioned by DSI?

    Sanctions can vary from reprimands or fines to suspension or expulsion from the DSI registers. This ma have potentially serious consequences for the person involved, such as termination of employment.  The sanctions are also listed on a DSI screening report.

  • What is the purpose of ethics enforcement?

    To contribute to a clean, fair, honest and secure financial sector. DSI was founded with that goal in mind. DSI offers a closed system that promotes the integrity and expertise of financial professionals through screening (entry standards), certification (education) and ethics enforcement.

  • What consequences does being sanctioned by the DSI Ethics Committee have for your DSI certification?

    When individuals are expelled, their certification is also revoked. Sanctions can also include suspension of the certification, which means that the professional in question may no longer claim to be DSI certified. All ethics enforcement measures are listed in the public DSI register at for a period of three years.

  • What kind of people make up the Ethics Committee and the Appeals Committee?

    The members of the Ethics Committee consist of attorneys and judges, as well as very experienced professionals active in the sector. These people are well-versed in all aspects of professionalism and integrity within the financial sector.

  • Is the name of a person reporting an incident made public?

    No. All reports are anonymous, unless the person making the report requests otherwise.

DSI. For integrity and expertise in the financial sector.