On 13 June 2014, the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) imposed an administrative fine of €24,000 on Veldmaarschalk N.V. (Veldmaarschalk). Veldmaarschalk offered investments without holding a mandatory AFM licence.
The AFM has established that Veldmaarschalk offered consumers plots of land in Terneuzen and Vianen in the period of 01 July 2009 to 28 December 2011, which involved speculation on a value increase resulting from a change in the intended use.
By speculating on this value increase, Veldmaarschalk promised a good return on investments. The management of the land was performed by a party other than the investor. That constitutes offering investments. According to Section 2:55 of the Financial Supervision Act (Wft), this activity requires a licence. Veldmaarschalk stopped offering investments on 28 December 2011.
Requirements concerning properness, expertise and integrity
It is important that financial service providers hold a licence granted by the AFM licence. A licence offers protection to consumers. Before the AFM grants a licence, it checks, inter alia, whether a financial service provider complies with the requirements of properness, expertise and integrity. Moreover, a service provider that holds a licence must comply with the so-called continuous rules of conduct. These concern, inter alia, proper services to consumers.
This case is subject to the fine scheme that applied until 01 August 2009. It applied a system of fixed penalty amounts. The AFM has mitigated the fine from the highest category (€96,000) to a lower category (€24,000).
Interested parties can submit the AFM's judgment contained in the decision to the courts for review. If you have questions or complaints, please contact the AFM's Financial Markets Information Line: 0800-5400 540 (free of charge).
Press release land investmentsThe AFM recently informed consumers of the risks inherent in land investments. The offers mainly involve agricultural plots in the Netherlands and in Eastern Europe. Consumers are advised to perform a thorough investigation if they are considering an investment in land.
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.
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.