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Holland Quaestor, the professional association of the main trust offices in The Netherlands, applies stricter requirements for offices that are eligible for the quality mark. Partly due to this, almost a quarter of the members have left. Says association manager Mariët van den Berg.

As a result of the stricter requirements, trust offices should better screen their potential customers in order to prevent misuse of the services. Employees also need to be better educated, and higher demands are placed on them. “Holland Quaestor raises the bar higher,” says van den Berg. “In doing so, we want to anticipate the stricter laws and regulations and respond to changing public opinion and media attention.”



Tax avoidance

The trust sector has been the subject of public debate for years, in which the sector is portrayed as a facilitator of tax avoidance and raising smokescreens around business relations and transactions. In the last few days, the journalist research project ‘Paradise papers’ revealed how trust offices are deployed to this end. According to Van den Berg, the sector is working hard to leave the bad news behind. In doing so, the quality mark provided by the independent Stichting Aqto, which is mandatory for all the Holland Queastor members, plays an important role. “To be eligible our members must comply with stringent guidelines and requirements. For example, the way you take on new customers is very important. The bar is always raised higher, also in education and job requirements. ”


Members leaving

She also underlines that the quality mark must be renewed every two years, allowing stricter legislation and regulations to be included in the criteria. “We are currently working on the second round. It appears that a number of members cannot or will not meet the stricter requirements. This is an important reason that membership of a number of members will be discontinued next year.”