On 10 December 2013, the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) imposed an administrative fine of €500 on Mr P. van Rijn. He was the de facto manager of Monetalis Financieel Advies B.V. (Monetalis) when it performed illegal door-to-door selling in the period of 8 April 2009 to 7 May 2011.
Illegal door-to-door selling entails a seller taking the personal initiative to visit a consumer at home in order to induce him to take out a loan. A financial service provider may, for example, suggest during a telephone call with a consumer that they make an appointment to meet at the consumer's residence.
Monetalis was, at the time of the violation, a financial service provider and acted as an intermediary with respect to electronic money, savings accounts, consumer credit, mortgage loans, life insurance and non-life insurance and issued advice with respect to and passed on orders concerning units in investment institutions.
The company approached consumers by telephone on the basis of surveys filled in by consumers that had been sent out by lead generators. During the initial call, Monetalis established whether consumers had existing loans and whether they were interested in reducing their monthly charges. An appointment for a home visit was also scheduled. The working method and the call script applied by Monetalis show that in practice the advisor always paid a personal visit to the consumer's home. He issued credit advice to the consumer during that personal visit.
Door-to-Door Sales Act
Investigation shows that Monetalis visited at least 393 consumers at home at the initiative of Monetalis. The AFM further investigated five files. A loan agreement was actually signed at the consumer's home in all those files. All of the above means that Monetalis violated Section 6 of the Door-to-Door Sales Act.
This form of door-to-door selling is prohibited, because the consumer may be forced to make a purchase decision without being prepared during a personal visit to said consumer's home. 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.
De facto management by Mr Van Rijn
Mr Van Rijn was the sole director of Monetalis. The AFM established during its investigation that Mr Van Rijn was aware of Monetalis' illegal actions, that he was authorised and reasonably obliged to terminate these actions and that he failed to take measures to do so. These are criteria developed in case law for assuming de facto management of a violation.
Amount of the fine
The maximum fine for violation of Section 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 account of the seriousness of the violation, culpability and Mr Van Rijn's financial capacity. The AFM set the fine at €500, because Mr Van Rijn's financial capacity is insufficient to bear a higher fine.
Interested parties may submit the AFM's decision to the courts for review.
The full decision can be downloaded in PDF format via the link on the right side of this page. If you have any questions or comments you can contact the Financial Markets Information Line on: 0800 - 5400 540 (free of charge).
The AFM promotes fairness and transparency within financial markets. We are the independent supervisory authority for the savings, lending, investment and insurance markets. We promote the fair and conscientious provision of financial services to consumers and private investors, as well as professional and semi-professional parties. We supervise the fair and efficient operation of the capital markets. Our aim is to improve consumers’ and companies' confidence in the financial markets, both in the Netherlands and abroad. In performing this task, the AFM contributes to the stability of the financial system, the economy and the reputation and prosperity of the Netherlands.
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