On 20 April 2010, the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) imposed two administrative fines totalling € 4,000 on ELQ Hypotheken N.V. (ELQ) for providing excessive loans. The administrative fines are based on the same investigation pursuant to which the AFM imposed an administrative fine on ELQ for applying an acceptance policy when providing mortgage loans that focused insufficiently on the prevention of excessive loans, which was published on the AFM website on 7 May 2010.
In the period of 1 November 2007 to 10 March 2008, ELQ insufficiently assessed whether the conclusion of the agreement was responsible with a view to the prevention of excessive loans and did not provide a valid explanation, substantiated with figures, in any of the files that were investigated, which would have justified the excessive loan. This means that ELQ, in the opinion of the AFM, has violated Article 4:34, first paragraph, of the Wft. As a consequence of its failure to properly assess whether conclusion of the agreement was responsible with a view to the prevention of providing excessive loans, ELQ concluded loan agreements that, with a view to the prevention of providing excessive loans to consumers, were irresponsible. This means that ELQ, in the opinion of the AFM, has violated Article 4:34, second paragraph, of the Wft.
The market of providers of mortgage loans has elaborated the open standard of Article 4:34 of the Wft in greater detail by means of the Code of Conduct for Mortgage Finance of the Liaison Committee for Mortgage Credit Institutions (GHF). The AFM considers the GHF a reasonable starting point for assessing whether the costs related to the mortgage loan are responsible.
ELQ filed an objection against the decisions to impose a fine on which the AFM decided on 5 August 2010. The decisions to impose a fine were upheld. The appeal period expired without having been used. The decisions to impose a fine and the decision on the objection have consequently become legally irreversible.
The fines have become final as no objection or appeal can be submitted against the decisions anymore. 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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