On 29 November 2012, the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) imposed an administrative fine on Ms S. Raghoe. As fellow perpetrator of those actually in charge, she was responsible for forbidden door-to-door selling by Clever Life B.V. This company visited consumers at home to conclude loan agreements. This is not allowed if it is not done at the initiative of the consumer. It is the first time that the AFM has imposed an administrative fine on a person as a fellow perpetrator.
Forbidden door-to-door selling exists if a seller takes the initiative to visit a consumer at home in order to induce him to take out a loan. A financial service provider may, for example, call a consumer without having been asked to in order to make an appointment at the consumer's residence. The law prohibits this, because during a personal visit at home a consumer may have to decide on a purchase without having prepared for it. He may be pressured or taken unawares to conclude a loan agreement. The Door-to-Door Sales Act aims to protect consumers against the above.
Violation by Clever Life
At the time of the violation, Clever Life was a financial service provider and provided brokerage services with respect to consumer credit, mortgage loans and life and nonlife insurance. The company approached consumer by telephone using a call script. During the initial call, Clever Life inventoried whether consumers had existing loans and whether they were interested in reducing monthly charges. An appointment for a home visit was also scheduled. The working method and the call script applied by Clever Life show that the advisor always paid a personal visit to the consumer's home. He always provided advice on the loan on such occasions.
Research showed that Clever Life, in the period from 30 September 2009 to 3 December 2010, visited a total of 597 consumers at home. Clever Life itself selected five files that were further investigated by the AFM. These files confirm that Clever Life made personal visits to consumers' homes. This is a violation of the Door-to-Door Sales Act (Article 6). In these files, a loan agreement was actually concluded on location. The violation formed part of Clever Life's standard business operations and therefore had a structural nature. The AFM considers this to be a serious matter. The AFM therefore imposed a fine on Clever Life and on the de facto director Mr Van der Velde.
Complicity on the part of Ms Raghoe
Ms Raghoe worked at Clever Life from September 2009 to September 2010. She set up a new Clever Life office in Spijkenisse, specifically intended to render advice and provide brokerage services with respect to consumer credit. She managed the employees at this office, she acted as the point of contact and she was responsible, inter alia, for drawing up the call script. She had a big share in the success of the office. Her experience in credit brokerage and her network allowed Ms Raghoe to make the Spijkenisse office profitable. In doing so, she collaborated close and consciously with Mr Van der Velde in the actual management of the violation of Article 6 of the Door-to-Door Sales Act. This means that she can be designated as a fellow perpetrator.
Amount of the fine
The maximum fine for violation of Article 6 of the Door-to-Door Sales Act amounted to € €74,000 at the time of the violation. When determining the amount of the fine, the AFM took into account the seriousness of the violation, and the culpability and financial capacity of the perpetrator.
Interested parties can submit the AFM's decision to the competent court for review.
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