Dutch banking regulator approves use of AWS public cloud in the financial sector

Dutch banking watchdog approves use of AWS cloud in websites, mobile apps, retail banking platforms, HPC and credit risk analysis

Financial and banking firms in the Netherlands will now be able to use Amazon’s public cloud services across websites, mobile applications, retail banking platforms, high-performance computing (HPC) and credit risk analysis solutions.

The Netherlands banking regulator, De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), approved the use of Amazon Web Services (AWS) in “all facets of Dutch financial operations” after firms sought the clearance of the country’s banking regulator to take advantage of all the benefits of cloud computing.

The approval also includes the storage and management of all levels of data on the AWS cloud, as well as the use of third-party technologies that run on top of it.

Every Dutch financial institute is required to follow guidelines outlined by its central bank when choosing banking technology platforms.

One of the guidelines requires that the DNB can oversee and confirm that the IT infrastructures used by financial firms are compliant with its regulations. The banking watchdog confirmed that use of Amazon's IaaS cloud meets this requirement.

But it has said that the financial institutions must still meet other requirements, such as carrying out standard risk analysis for their use of IaaS cloud services.

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“Choosing AWS public cloud services gives banks an IT infrastructure that has better performance than they have had in the past and, because this initiative has the approval of the DNB, they can take advantage of the security and reliability of AWS while ensuring they comply with all outsourcing legislation,” said Chris Zadeh, chief executive of Dutch banking technology firm Ohpen.

As a Dutch company specialising in core banking technology for the financial sector, Ohpen has adopted the AWS cloud to run its software as a service (SaaS) platform, bank-out-of-the-box.  

“Large Dutch banks are now moving their entire retail banking platforms to the cloud using Ohpen’s core banking technology running on top of AWS,” he said.

According to Amazon, the approval allows Dutch financial institutions to join other financial organisations, such as Bankinter in Spain, Unicredit in Italy and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, to benefit from the flexibility and cost savings of public cloud services.

“This announcement comes at a time when cloud computing is starting to transform the financial services sector,” said Steve Midgley, head of Europe for AWS. “This adds to other initiatives, such as the Nasdaq FinQloud, that are specifically designed to help financial services businesses to innovate, with faster time to market and reduced capital expenditure on technology resources.

“Due to the DNB’s efforts, Dutch financial organisations can now enjoy the benefits of cloud computing, thus creating efficiency in the sector,” added Midgley.

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