Dr. A.H.E.M. (Nout) Wellink

foto Dr. A.H.E.M. (Nout) Wellink vergrootglas

Nout Wellink (1943) was the President of the Dutch National Bank from 1997 to 2011. He reputedly strengthened the position of the Dutch central bank in monetary policy, both on the national and the European level, in the system of central banks of the euro area. In his long tenure he garnered much credit amongst his collegues, and he participated and chaired various high level international fora. He also played his part in the introduction of the euro in The Netherlands. Wellink, however, was also criticised for his perceived leniency in the aftermath of the Icesave-affair and in his role in the acquisition of ABN AMRO by other parties.

Wellink originally studied law, but developed an interest in economics, in which he obtained a doctorate. He was a civil servant most his life, working at the Ministry of Finance and, later, the Dutch central bank. Wellink is still quite active, lending his support and time to a number of organisations, most of which in the field of culture.


Personal data

Name and surname

Arnout Henricus Elisabeth Maria (Nout) Wellink

Date of birth

August 27th 1943

Place of Birth

Bredevoort (The Netherlands)



Five children (three of which are stepchildren)



Selected honours and distinctions

Knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion, April 29th 1980

Commander in the Order of Orange-Nassau, Juni 29th 2011



Secondary education

Gymnasium-b, 1961


Dutch law, University of Leiden, September 1961 to 1968


Economic sciences, University of Tilburg, June 12th 2008


Political affiliation

CDA (Christian Democratic Appeal)



  • student-assistant and scientific staff member, University of Leiden, 1965 to 1970
  • economic staff member General Financial and Economic Politics, Ministry of Finance, 1970 to 1975
  • president of the General Financial and Economic Politics, Ministry of Finance, 1975 to 1981
  • director at De Nederlandsche Bank (the Dutch central bank), January 1st 1982 to July 1st 1997
  • endowed professorship on Monetary and Bancair Questions, Vrije Universiteit (Amsterdam)
  • president of De Nederlandsche Bank (the Dutch central bank), July 1st 1997 to July 1st 2011


Selected additional functions


  • member of the Trilateral Commission
  • member of the supervisory board of the University of Leiden, since May 1st 2008
  • member of governing board of the “Bank of China”, since November 2012
  • member of boards of a number of organisations, most of them in the cultural sector


  • member Monetary Committee of the European Communties (as bank president)
  • governor at the IMF (as bank president)
  • president of the Bank for International Settlement (BIS) in Basel
  • member of the International Advisory Council for European Policy Studies
  • member board of the Institute for Control on Government Expenditure
  • member of various supervisory boards of banks and companies
  • member of various international working parties and committees (all on monetary affairs and finance, often as bank president)


Selected publications

  • "De inkomenselasticiteit van het Nederlandse belastingstelsel" (on elasticity of income in the Dutch tax system, dissertation, 1975)


Selected achievements

  • Managed to establish the Dutch central bank as supervisor to pension funds and assurance companies
  • As director and later president of the central bank Wellink played his part in the introduction of the euro in The Netherlands
  • Has repeatedly been critised for being to lenient in his role as supervisor in the Dutch banking system, especially in the cases of both Icesave and the acquisition of ABN-AMRO by a trio of foreign banks
  • As chair of the Basel committee on the supervision of banks, Wellink was a key figure in setting up the Basel III capital requirements for banks
  • When appointed in July 2013 Wellink was the only non-Chinese member of the governing board of the Bank of China.

This biography has been updated until September  5, 2018.