On 30 October 2009, the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) imposed an administrative fine of € 1,000 on GMAC Nederland N.V. (GMAC). This fine was imposed because GMAC, in the period of 1 July 2008 to 15 December 2008, provided irresponsible consumer credit. The fine follows from the same investigation pursuant to which the AFM imposed a fine on GMAC for violation of Article 115 of the Decree on Conduct of Business Supervision of Financial Undertakings under the Wft (Bgfo), which was already published on the AFM website on 11 November 2009.
An investigation by the AFM has shown that in 5 of the 23 investigated files, GMAC provided an irresponsibly loan to the consumer large from the perspective of excessive loans.
The AFM established with respect to these 5 files that GMAC, when assessing credit applications, failed to perform a verification of the housing costs. As GMAC failed to request the actual housing costs of the consumer it may have assumed inaccurate data when assessing the credit application. In addition, the AFM has established with respect to all 5 files that the net or gross salary stated by the consumer on the online Internet application form proved to be inconsistent with the consumer's actual net or gross salary. The actual income proved to be lower than the income stated by the consumer on the application form.
This means that GMAC violated Article 4:34, second paragraph, of the Financial Supervision Act Wft). This act obliges credit providers to obtain information about the financial position of the consumer prior to the formation of a loan agreement in the interest of the consumer and to assess whether conclusion of the agreement is responsible in order to prevent excessive loans from being provided to the relevant consumer. The provider will be required not to enter into the loan agreement if this is irresponsible with a view to the prevention of excessive loans.
The market of consumer credit providers further elaborated the abovementioned open standards by means of the Code(s) of Conduct of the VFN, NVB and NTO. The AFM considers the VFN standard a reasonable starting point to check whether the costs of consumer credit are responsible costs. The AFM has indicated to market parties that it checks whether the provision of consumer credit is responsible on the basis of the VFN standard.
The fine has become final as no objection or appeal can be submitted against the decision anymore. If you have any questions or comments you can contact the Financial Markets Information Line on: 0900-5400 540 (5 eurocents per minute).
Fine imposed on GMAC for violation of Article 115 Bgfo has become final
The AFM furthermore announces that, pursuant to Article 1:98 of the Wft, the decision of 30 October 2009 to impose a fine of € 24,000 on GMAC has been become legally irreversible. The fine has become final as no objection or appeal can be submitted against the decision anymore. The AFM imposed the administrative fine, because GMAC, in the period of 1 July 2008 to 26 February 2009, with respect to the acceptance of applications for consumer credit, applied assessment criteria that focused insufficiently on the prevention of excessive loans.
On 11 November 2009, the decision to impose a penalty in accordance with Article 1:97 of the Wft was published by means of a press release. The text of this decision was placed on the AFM website. For the complete text the AFM would refer to the decision placed previously on the AFM website decision.
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.