On 22 December 2011, the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets imposed an administrative fine of €50,000 on AvéWé Holding B.V. (AvéWé), for providing unsuitable advice when concluding mortgage loans and payment protectors (such as unemployment insurance, disability insurance and life insurance) by Huis & Hypotheek Ceintuurbaan, a company affiliated with AvéWé.
The Financial Supervision Act (Wft) obliges financial undertakings to provide consumers with suitable advice. They are therefore required to obtain information on the consumer and take this information into account when providing advice. In doing so, they act in the interest of the client.
The AFM examined a total of six AvéWé files from the period of August 2009 to December 2009. The AFM has observed that AvéWé in all examined files failed to obtain sufficient information concerning the financial position, objectives, willingness to accept risk, knowledge and experience of consumers. AvéWé was consequently unable to base its advice on this information. It is the opinion of the AFM that in doing AvéWé so acted contrary to Article 4:23(1), parts a and b, of the Wft.
The new fines act (Penalty Scheme in Financial Legislation (Amendment) Act) entered into effect on 1 August 2009. This new act applies as the violations occurred after 1 August 2009. The basic amount for violation of Article 4:23(1), parts a and b, of the Wft, is €500,000. When determining the amount of the fine, the AFM took into account in its consideration the seriousness and duration of the violation, culpability and financial capacity of AvéWé. Recidivism applies, as AvéWé already received a fine for violation of Article 4:23(1), part b, of the Wft, by another affiliated company, and this fine was consequently doubled in accordance with Article 1:81(1) of the Wft.
If you have any questions or comments you can contact the Financial Markets Information Line on: 0800-5400 540 (free of charge).
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