ON 24 September 2010, the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) imposed two administrative fines totalling € 10,000 on Rabobank Nederland (Rabobank) for providing excessive loans. The fines are based on the same investigation pursuant to which the AFM imposed two fines on Rabobank for providing unsuitable advice with respect to credit protection insurance and applying an acceptance policy when providing mortgage loans that focused insufficiently on the prevention of excessive loans, which were published on the AFM website on 4 October 2010.
In the period of January 2009 to August 2009, Rabobank failed to assess sufficiently whether the conclusion of a loan agreement was responsible for the consumer, with a view to the prevention of providing excessive loans. In addition, Rabobank Nederland provided mortgage loans that were irresponsible.
Although sufficient information concerning the client's financial position was obtained in 14 of the 44 files, Rabobank failed to perform an adequate assessment of the financial position of the client, which meant that it was insufficiently assessed whether the conclusion of the loan agreement was responsible, with a view to the prevention of providing excessive loans. In addition, in these 14 files Rabobank failed to demonstrate sufficiently with supporting figures why the mortgage loan provided was responsible. By insufficiently assessing whether the conclusion of the agreement was responsible, with a view to the prevention of providing excessive loans, the Rabobank concluded loan agreements which were irresponsible, with a view to the prevention of providing excessive loans to consumers.
It is the opinion of the AFM that Rabobank in doing so violated Article 4:34, first paragraph, and Article 4:34, second paragraph, of the Financial Supervision Act. 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 should refrain from concluding the loan agreement, if doing so is irresponsible with a view to the prevention of providing excessive loans.
Filing an objection or an appeal against this decision has no longer been possible since 5 November 2010. The fines have become final.
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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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