On 9 December 2009, the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) imposed an administrative fine of € 4,185 on Assurantiekantoor Van Ek B.V., also trading under the name Pensioendesk Arnhem (Assurantiekantoor Van Ek). Assurantiekantoor Van Ek is a financial service provider that advises on pensions.
The AFM has established that Assurantiekantoor Van Ek in April 2008 recommended an employer a certain pension product, while Assurantiekantoor Van Ek had failed to obtain sufficient information on the financial position, willingness to accept risk and the knowledge and experience of the employer. The information obtained on the financial position did not provide numerical insight into the financial position. The answers to questions on willingness to accept risk seemed to be contradictory and should have caused further questions in order to obtain a uniform answer. The limited obtained knowledge and experience were insufficient to be able to lead to a proper implementation of the advisory process. As a result of the fact that insufficient information was obtained, Assurantiekantoor Van Ek was unable to base its advice in part on this information.
This means that Assurantiekantoor Van Ek violated Article 4:23, first paragraph, of the Financial Supervision Act. This Act obliges financial undertakings that advise clients to, inter alia, obtain information on the client's financial position, knowledge, experience, objectives and willingness to accept risk in the interest of that client and to the extent reasonably relevant to the advice. The financial undertaking must ensure that the advice, to the extent reasonably possible, is also partly based on the information to be obtained.
Assurantiekantoor Van Ek was declared bankrupt on 17 November 2009. The AFM imposes the fine because the violations date from 1 January 2008 to 1 April 2008 when Assurantiekantoor Van Ek was still active as financial advisor.
Interested parties can submit the AFM's decision to the competent court for review. If you have any questions or comments you can contact the Financial Markets Information Line on: 0900-5400 540 (5 eurocents per minute).
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