The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) will continue with familiar supervisory themes in 2013. There will also be new accents. For instance, the AFM will devote extra attention to professional customers of financial enterprises. The AFM has published the plans and budget for 2013.
Under current legislation and regulation, it is assumed that professional (non-retail) customers are able to fully understand the risks they face. However the occurrence of incidents would suggest that this assumption needs to be tested further. For instance, when the situation concerns organisations in the semi-public sectors, such as housing corporations, health care and educational institutions. The AFM’s plans for this year thus include publication of a general analysis of the services provided to certain professional customers.
Contribution to stability
Another subject of attention in 2013 will be the contribution of conduct supervision to the stability of the financial system. This will include the operation of the ‘wholesale’ markets, such as the markets for derivatives and structured products. The AFM will also dedicate attention to the areas of shadow banking and securities lending in this context.
The AFM collaborates closely with de Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), within the Twin Peaks model. It also participates in the recently formed Financial Stability Committee.
The Agenda for 2013, which also includes the budget, consists of nine supervisory themes:
- Product providers putting the customer’s interests first;
- Improving the quality of financial services;
- Improving the quality of capital accumulation products and related advice;
- The service provided to non-retail customers by financial enterprises should be appropriate;
- Pensions should be transparent and appropriate;
- Improving the quality of governance, reporting and auditing;
- The fair and efficient operation of the securities markets and the continuing robustness of the infrastructure;
- The contribution of conduct supervision to the stability of the financial system;
- Effective action to deal with threats to the integrity of the financial sector.
The Ministers of Finance and of Social Affairs and Employment have approved the budget of the AFM. The plans have also been discussed with the Advisory Panel of the AFM, which consists of representative organisations. A provisional version of the plans was published in September 2012.
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.