The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) imposed an administrative fine of 24,000 Euros on Afab Financiële Diensten Holding N.V. (Afab) on 29 October 2009. The AFM imposed the administrative fine on Afab, as licence holder, in connection with a violation by Hollandsche Disconto Voorschotbank B.V. (HDV), a company affiliated with Afab. The AFM investigated Afab in the period of 24 October 2008 to 21 August 2009. This investigation revealed that HDV had not properly laid down the assessment criteria it applied in this period with respect to the acceptance of the applications for consumer loans, and that the assessment criteria did not focus sufficiently on the prevention of the provision of excessive loans.
This means, in the AFM's opinion, that HDV acted in violation of Article 115(1) of the Decree on Conduct of Business Supervision of Financial Undertakings under the Wft (Bgfo). This Article obliges credit providers to lay down criteria that are at the basis of the assessment of a consumer's loan application in order to prevent the provision of excessive loans, and to apply those criteria in the assessment of a loan application.
The fine was imposed because HDV, with respect to the calculation of the net income that forms the basis of the credit provision, did not lay down criteria describing how account should be taken of the pension withholdings with a view to the prevention of excessive loans being provided to the consumer. HDV also failed to lay down how account should be taken of the periodical expenses related to mortgage loans, such as redemptions. This means, in the AFM's opinion, that HDV acted in violation of Article 115(1) of the Bgfo. The actions of HDV are attributed to Afab because HDV is a company affiliated with it.
The fine for HDV's violation has been imposed pursuant to the Decree on Penalties under the Wft (Besluit boetes Wft). This Decree applies to violations that occurred or commenced prior to 1 August 2009. The amount of the fine for HDV's violation has been maximised in the Decree on Penalties under the Wft at € 24,000.
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).
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.
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