On 11 January 2013, the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) imposed an order for incremental penalty payments on Bergheuvel B.V. for failing to comply with the AFM's requests for information. The information was requested, because the suspicion exists that Bergheuvel B.V. has provided or continues to provide financial services without a licence from the AFM for this purpose.
Bergheuvel B.V. may be issuing advice and/or be acting as an intermediary with respect to pensions and insurance. It is prohibited by law to issue advice or provide intermediary services with respect to financial products. This means that Bergheuvel B.V. may be in violation of the Financial Supervision Act (Wft). The AFM requires the requested information in order to determine whether this act was actually violated.
It is important that financial service providers hold an AFM licence. A licence provides consumers with additional protection. Before the AFM issues a licence, it checks, among other things, whether a financial service provider complies with the requirements of reliability, expertise and integrity. Moreover, a financial service provider that holds a licence has to comply with the so-called continuous rules of conduct. These concern, among other things, the careful provision of services to consumers.
What is an order for incremental penalty payments?
An order for incremental penalty payments is the AFM's way of attempting to end a violation and/or prevent further violation or a repeat of a violation. The AFM instructs (orders) a company or person to do or cease doing certain acts. If the order is not complied within a specific term, the company/person is obliged to pay a sum of money. In the present case, the AFM is attempting to obtain information that is required to perform an investigation into a possible violation.
Bergheuvel B.V. has not provided the requested information within the term set and has consequently been obliged to pay penalty payments. The AFM is yet to receive the information. The incremental penalty payments will increase by €5,000 for every day Bergheuvel B.V. fails to comply with the order, subject to a maximum of €50,000.
If you have any questions or comments you can contact the Financial Markets Information Line on: 0800-5400 540 (free of charge).
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.