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AFM has imposed an administrative fine on ABN AMRO N.V. for unsuitable advice on insurance policies

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On 3 December 2010, the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) imposed an administrative fine of 30,000 euros on ABN AMRO Bank N.V. (ABN AMRO) for providing unsuitable advice to clients wishing to enter into credit protection insurance policies, during the period from 1 January 2009 to 31 July 2009. This concerned insurance policies that provide consumers with cover in the event of loss of income as a result of occupational disability or death.

The Financial Supervision Act (Wft) requires financial enterprises to provide consumers with suitable advice. They must therefore obtain information concerning the consumer and take this into account when providing advice. This means they must act in the interests of the client.

The AFM reviewed a total of 16 cases from the period between 1 January 2009 and 15 September 2009. In eight of the cases reviewed, ABN AMRO had obtained insufficient information concerning the financial position and risk appetite of the consumers. ABN AMRO was therefore unable to base its advice on this information.

In addition, in two of the cases reviewed, ABN AMRO insufficiently based the proposed insured amount of the advised whole-life insurance policy on the information that was indeed obtained concerning the financial position or the risk appetite of the consumer. In the opinion of the AFM, ABN AMRO thus acted in breach of Section 4:23 (1, a and b) of the Financial Supervision Act (Wft).

Interested parties can submit the AFM’s decision to a court for a review.

If you have any questions or complaints, you can contact the AFM's Financial Markets Information Line at: 0900 5400 540 (0.05 euros per minute - only in the Netherlands).

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.

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