On 29 October 2009, the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) imposed an administrative fine of € 6,000 on Naber B.V. of Tilburg. The AFM investigated 25 instances in which Naber issued advice in the period of 1 January 2008 to 1 April 2008. The fine was imposed because in sixteen of the files the advised amount of the mortgage loan did not suit the consumer's financial position. In all cases, the consumers loaned more than was responsible according to accepted standards. The deviation from the standard has not been substantiated sufficiently.
This means that Naber violated Article 4:23, first paragraph, of the Financial Supervision Act. This Act obliges financial undertakings, which provide consultancy services, to provide consumers with suitable advice. For this purpose, they are required to obtain information on the client and take this information into account when providing advice.
The AFM, in principle, applies the standard from the Code of Conduct for Mortgage Finance, the GHF standard, to assess the amount of a mortgage loan. In the GHF standard, the income of the consumer, inter alia, is decisive for the maximum mortgage loan. The mortgage loan may be increased in exceptional cases when this exception can be properly substantiated, for example for reason of the consumer's assets.
Naber failed to obtain sufficient information concerning the consumer's financial position with respect to five files. This means that in these files the advice was not sufficiently based on all relevant information that should have been obtained on the financial position. In view of the information obtained about the financial position, these files also appear to concern cases of irresponsible housing expenses. Naber did obtain sufficient information about the consumer's financial position in eleven of the files, but failed to base its advice sufficiently on this obtained information. The result is that, in those cases, irresponsible housing expenses have arisen.
Naber B.V. was declared bankrupt on 7 May 2009. Naber had already indicated earlier that it was no longer active as financial advisor. The AFM imposes the fine because the violations date from 1 January 2008 to 1 April 2008 when Naber 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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