Professional and Personal Requirements for Persons Appointed as Management Board Members

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The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority of Germany (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht – BaFin) provided a Guidance Notice on management board members pursuant to the German Banking Act (Kreditwesengesetz – KWG), the German Payment Services Supervision Act (Zahlungsdiensteaufsichtsgesetz – ZAG) and the German Capital Investment Code (Kapitalanlagegesetzbuch – KAGB). The following introduces the approach how to check compliance with the law in the context of a forensic rating of financial institutions.

The methodology applies to all credit institutions and financial services institutions supervised by Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht- BaFin) under the Banking Act (Gesetz über das Kreditwesen – KWG) and all payment and electronic money institutions supervised by BaFin under the Payment Services Supervision Act (Zahlungsdiensteaufsichtsgesetz – ZAG). It is also intended for undertakings supervised by BaFin under the Capital Investment Code (Kapitalanlagegesetzbuch – KAGB). The Banking Act, the Payment Services Supervision Act and the Capital Investment Code impose stringent requirements regarding the qualifications of a management board member. The major significance of these requirements is reflected in the fact that it is the claim of BaFin to issue a licence only when all conditions are met to conduct banking business and e-money business and to provide financial services and payment services.  The licences under the Investment Code, too, are only issued if the management board members fulfil the professional and personal requirements stipulated in the respective law. BaFin may withdraw this licence if these requirements are no longer fulfilled.

The European provisions were enshrined in the Banking Act through the ” Act on the Implementation of the Directive 2013/36/EU on Access to the Activity of Credit Institutions and the Prudential Supervision of Credit Institutions and Investment Firms and on the Regulatory Alignment to the Regulation (EU) No 575/2013 on Prudential Requirements for Credit Institutions and Investment Firms” (Gesetz zur Umsetzung der Richtlinie 2013/36/EU über den Zugang zur Tätigkeit von Kreditinstituten und die Beaufsichtigung von Kreditinstituten und Wertpapierfirmen und zur Anpassung des Aufsichtsrechts an die Verordnung (EU) Nr. 575/2013 über Aufsichtsanforderungen an Kreditinstitute und Wertpapierfirmen – CRD IVUmsetzungsgesetz) of 28 August 2013, Federal Law Gazette I p. 3395, and the ” Act Amending Laws Relating to the Financial Market” (Gesetz zur Anpassung von Gesetzen auf dem Gebiet des Finanzmarktes – FinMarktAnpG) of 15 July 2014, Federal Law Gazette I p. 934. Moreover, the recommendations of the European Banking Authority “EBA Guidelines on Internal Governance” (GL 44) of 27 September 2011 and the “EBA Guidelines on the Assessment of the Suitability of Members of the Management Body and Key Function Holders” of 22 November 2012 have been transposed into German law. The second edition of this Guidance Notice outlines the professional and personal requirements for persons appointed as management board members under the relevant supervisory legislation. It provides an overview of the associated notification obligations, including the documents which must be submitted. It considers in detail the expanded requirements for management board members resulting from the changes to the Banking Act.

The credit institutions which are members of a cooperative auditing association (genossenschaftlicher Prüfungsverband) or which are audited by the auditing body of a savings bank and giro association (Sparkassen- und Giroverband) are to send the notification and any documents to be appended via their association, together with an extra copy intended for that association. The role of the associations must be observed in Germany.

Since 4 November 2014, the European Central Bank (ECB) has served as the
supervisory authority for significant German credit institutions within the scope of the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM). The ECB supervises these significant institutions on the basis of national supervisory legislation, except where European law is directly applicable. Significant institutions submit notifications concerning the appointment and resignation of management board members – including all of the documents to be appended – to BaFin and the Deutsche Bundesbank.

The European Central Bank is responsible for assessing the professional suitability, the
reputation and the available time of a management board member and will notify the institution of the result of its assessment directly. This assessment is made on the basis of the provisions of the Banking Act. However, the ECB is not bound by an existing national interpretation or administrative practice.

The European Central Bank, BaFin and the Deutsche Bundesbank shall be notified of other activities of a management board member of a significant institution and of any direct participating interests. The notifications and all documents and declarations to be appended must be submitted in German. The following deviating provisions apply to significant institutions directly by the ECB. Where documents are not issued in German, a certified translation or a translation prepared by a publicly appointed or sworn interpreter or translator will be required in addition to the original version. The relevant BaFin division may waive the translation of English-language documents. Significant institutions directly supervised by the ECB may submit the notification as well as all documents to be appended in either German or in English. The notifications prescribed by the Banking Act, the Payment Services Supervision Act and the Capital Investment Code shall be submitted without delay. As a rule, BaFin will no longer assume that a notification has been submitted without delay if a period of four weeks has been exceeded following the decision made by the relevant body. BaFin may require further documents and information if this appears necessary in an individual case. BaFin will not assume the costs associated with the required documents.

On their websites, BaFin and the Deutsche Bundesbank provide the following forms which are to be used for the individual notifications and for the declarations to be made.

Banking Act

  • Personnel changes relating to management board members,
  • Details of reputation, available time and additional mandates,
    • Declaration concerning criminal proceedings and proceedings for
      administrative offences, decisions under trade law and insolvency or
      enforcement proceedings,
    • Declaration concerning familial relationships,
    • Declaration concerning business relationships,
    • Details of additional mandates as a management board member or as a
      member of administrative and supervisory bodies,
    • Details of available time,
  • Secondary activities of management board members,
  • Participating interests of management board members.

Capital Investment Code

  • Personnel changes relating to management board members,
  • Details of reputation,
    • Declaration concerning criminal proceedings and proceedings for administrative offences, decisions under trade law and insolvency or enforcement proceedings,
    • Declaration concerning familial relationships,
    • Declaration concerning business relationships,
  • Secondary activities of management board members,
  • Participating interests of management board members.

Payment Services Supervision Act

  • Details of reputation,
  • Secondary activities of management board members,
  • Participating interests of management board members,

An intention to make an appointment, its realisation, its withdrawal (Banking Act) or a change of this intention to appoint (Banking Act) a management board member shall be reported without delay. The institution or the KAGB undertaking must submit this notification. Management board members within the meaning of the Banking Act and the Payment Services Supervision Act are those natural persons who are appointed according to law, articles of association, articles of incorporation or a partnership agreement to manage the business of and represent an institution organized in the form of a legal person or a commercial partnership. Management board members within the meaning of the Capital Investment Code are those natural persons who are appointed according to law, articles of association, articles of incorporation or a partnership agreement to manage the business of and represent a capital management company as well as natural persons who actually manage the business of the capital management company without being formally appointed as management board members. This notification obligation also applies for the appointment of an acting management board member to fulfil the function of a management board member if the latter is unable to do so.

In its long-standing administrative practice, BaFin has refrained from forwarding appointment notifications submitted by the relevant association of auditors for credit cooperatives’ board members serving in an honorary capacity. However, notice must be provided of an intention to appoint a part-time management board member. Already the intention to appoint a management board member is subject to notification.

Basic documents

The following documents/declarations have to be appended to the notification:

  • Curriculum vitae,
  • Details of management board members’ reputation,
  • “Certificate of good conduct for presentation to a German authority”, “European
    certificate of good conduct for presentation to a German authority” or “equivalent
    documents” from another country,
  • Excerpt from the Central Trade and Industry Register,
  • Details of additional mandates as a management board member and in administrative and supervisory bodies,
  • Details of available time.


By submitting the information and declarations from the management board member which have to be appended to the notification, the notifying institution or the notifying KAGB undertaking confirms that the information submitted is accurate to the best of its knowledge. If the management board member who is to be appointed has been, or is already a management board member or a member of the administrative or supervisory body of an undertaking supervised by BaFin, all of the documents/declarations to be presented in connection with this notification have to be re-submitted. BaFin may waive this requirement in individual cases.

A curriculum vitae has to be appended to the notification of intent. This curriculum vitae must be complete and truthful and must be personally signed and dated. The curriculum vitae shall focus primarily on the positions held during the management board member’s professional career. For these individual positions, the CV has to indicate not only the year, but also the month in which this position began or ended. In the description of positions held, in particular details of this person’s powers of representation, his or her internal decision-making powers and the divisions within the undertaking overseen by him or her shall be provided. Job references for employment positions within the last three years prior to submission of the notification have to be appended to the curriculum vitae, if available. Within the scope of the Capital Investment Code and the Payment Services Supervision Act, job references must only be submitted as required by BaFin. The curriculum vitae has to include the following details:

  • surname, all first names,
  • birth namedate of birth,
  • place of birth,
  • place of residence,
  • nationality,
  • a detailed description of relevant education and training,
  • the names of all undertakings for which the management board member currently works or has previously worked,
  • details of the nature and duration of the relevant activity, including secondary
    activities.

If a management board member has resided outside Germany within the last ten years, the period and country in question must be indicated. If the principal place of residence of the management board member and his or her place of work did not lie within the same country, this also has to be indicated. This information is relevant for BaFin insofar as this affects the register excerpts which must be submitted.

The social credit rating is comprehensively checked: Details of the management board member’s reputation, a “Certificate of good conduct for presentation to a German authority”, “European certificate of good conduct for presentation to a German authority” or “equivalent documents” from another country, excerpt from the Central Trade and Industry Register, details of additional mandates as a management board member or in administrative or supervisory bodies (Banking Act), details of available time (Banking Act). Comprehensive additional regulations must be observed for these points.

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