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AFM and CFV conclude a covenant on sharing knowledge and exchanging information

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On 11 December 2012, the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets and the Central Fund for Social Housing (CFV) concluded a covenant on sharing knowledge and exchanging information. The reason for this covenant is the doubts that have arisen concerning the quality of the audits of housing corporations. This is partly the result of the problems at Stichting Vestia Groep (Vestia) and the problems related to the derivatives portfolios of housing corporations.

On the basis of this covenant the CFV will be able to provide the AFM with information concerning (presumed) violations committed by external accountants and financial undertakings in the housing corporation sector. Examples include failure to comply with professional competence standards by external accountants who perform audits at housing corporations, and failure to comply with the rules for proper provision of services that apply to the provision of investment services to housing corporations.

Audit firms are supervised by the AFM, and must comply with the Audit Firms (Supervision) Act (Wta). The essence of the Wta is, inter alia, the duty of the firm to guarantee that statutory audits are performed in the correct manner. Financial undertakings such as banks, insurers and intermediaries come under the Financial Supervision Act (Wft), which sets requirements as regards transparency and the duty of care, and thus contributes to the aim of placing the central focus on the client's interest.

The financial statements and other accountability documents of housing corporations form the basis for CFV supervision of the housing corporation sector. The CFV consequently has an interest in high-quality audits. In addition, on 1 October 2012 the CFV was also charged with supervising the Ministerial policy rules for the use of financial derivatives by housing corporations. From the perspective of this supervisory duty, the CFV has an interest in the effective supervision of financial undertakings. The AFM is authorised to include the information it has received in its supervision on the basis of the Wta and the Wft.

It is expected that the exchange of knowledge and the sharing of information between both public-law supervisors will increase the effectiveness of the efforts to tackle possible abuses. The agreement was signed on 11 December, by Gerben Everts (board member) and Theodor Kockelkoren (board member) on behalf of the AFM, and by Gilles Izeboud (deputy chairman of the board) and Jan van der Moolen (director) on behalf of CFV.

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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