The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) announces that, on 12 August 2009, it imposed an administrative fine of € 30,000 on SNS Bank N.V. (SNS Bank) for failing to obtain information when issuing advice on equity-linked insurance. The fine is imposed as a result of the market-wide investigation into advice issued with respect to equity-linked insurance conducted in 2007 and 2008.
The Act on Financial Supervision (Wft) obliges parties to provide services with due care to clients (Article 4:23 Wft). The AFM imposed the administrative fine because SNS Bank, in the period from February 2007 to May 2007, failed to obtain sufficient information in 13 out of the 14 investigated instances in which it issued advice. When issuing such advice, a consultant is required to obtain information from a client concerning its financial situation, knowledge, experience, objectives and willingness to take risks. This information is necessary to be able to issue advice suitable to a client's specific situation. The AFM investigated a total of 14 instances where SNS Bank issued advice.
It cannot be ascertained in the cases investigated whether the product is in line with the client's specific situation, because insufficient information was obtained. The AFM was also not able to establish in four investigated cases why the product was recommended on the basis of the information that was obtained.
Interested parties can submit the AFM's decision to a court for review.
If you have any questions or comments you can also contact the Financial Markets Information Line on: 0900-5400 540 (5 eurocents per minute).
The AFM promotes fairness and transparency within financial markets. We are the independent supervisory authority for the savings, lending, investment and insurance markets. The AFM promotes the conscientious provision of financial services to consumers and supervises the honest and efficient operation of the capital markets. Our aim is to improve consumers’ and the business sector’s confidence in the financial markets, both in the Netherlands and abroad. In performing this task the AFM contributes to the prosperity and economic reputation of the Netherlands.
The AFM is committed to promoting fair and transparent financial markets.
As an independent market conduct authority, we contribute to a sustainable financial system and prosperity in the Netherlands.