The Waarborgfonds voor de Zorgsector (WFZ) (Guarantee Fund for the Health Care Sector) is the guarantee institute of and for health care institutions. WFZ provides guarantees to lenders granting loans to health care institutions. These guarantees enable health care institutions to borrow on favourable terms. WFZ has a solid security structure. Lenders that fund health care institutions under the WFZ guarantee are not confronted with the solvency requirements of De Nederlandsche Bank (The Netherlands Central Bank). The WFZ guarantees the loan servicing. This concerns the agreed interest rate and repayment for the term of the loan as well as any additional charges.
Only participants can request the WFZ to provide a guarantee. Participation in the WFZ is voluntary, and is mainly open to hospitals, nursing homes, residential care facilities for the elderly, mental health care facilities, and care facilities for disabled people. The WFZ first assesses the creditworthiness of the prospective participant before participation is accepted. The assessment investigation is repeated every year. The admission assessment and periodic reassessment take place based on an extensive assessment protocol, which goes into the relevant financial aspects of the health care institution, and the set of management and control tools present. The health care institution that applies for a guaranty has to substantiate the investment involved.
The WFZ only uses standard agreements for guaranteeing loans. These agreements have been drawn up in close cooperation with the Government and the Raad voor Onroerende Zaken (Council for Real Estate Matters), in which large institutional investors work together. Health care institutions can also attract loans without having the guarantee of the WFZ Health care institutions can, however, obtain an interest rate advantage by the WFZ guaranteeing loans. There are charges attached to guaranteeing loans, but even a relatively small loan and a short term gives health care institutions a net gain.
The WFZ is an independent fund. There is no question of a managerial relationship with the branch associations that have founded the WFZ, or with the Government. The WFZ has a Supervisory Board, which is above the Board of Directors of WFZ. The board of directors is responsible for the day-to-day management. The tasks and powers of the Supervisory Board and the Board of Directors are specified in the bye-laws and the rules and regulations of the Board of Directors. It is explicitly laid down that the Supervisory Board is not involved in the decision-making concerning the admission or suretyship of individual institutions.
Relationship between the WFZ, the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports and the lenders
The formal regulations and conditions of the WFZ cannot be changed without taking into account various regulations. If alterations to the suretyship construction are being considered, the WFZ and the Government are obliged to consult the lenders in advance. Any amendments to the bye-laws, the investment bye-laws, the participation regulations and the standard loan agreement require the prior permission of the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sports. An agreement has been concluded between the Government and WFZ about the supervisory and accountability structure.
If you would like more information, please contact the WFZ.
Waarborgfonds voor de Zorgsector WFZ
3515 GR Utrecht
PO Box 9696
3506 GR Utrecht