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Administrative fine for charging a fee for acting as an intermediary in consumer credit

Measure

Fine

On 02 December 2014, the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) imposed an administrative fine of €31,250 on ’t Sorgh & Huis B.V., known to consumers under the name Maesons. Maesons charged a direct arrangement fee to consumers for its services related to consumer credit. This is expressly prohibited on the basis of Section 4:74 Wft.

 
State of affairs of legal proceedings
Fine imposed Objection Appeal Further appeal
Initiated Decision taken Initiated Judgment given Initiated Judgment given
2 december 2014 geen (1)

(1) The fine became final on 14 January 2015 because no objection was submitted. 

A credit intermediary may only be rewarded for its activities by the provider of a loan by means of a continuous monthly commission. By means of this prohibition on direct arrangement fees, which forms an exception to the ban on inducements, the legislator intended to protect consumers against credit intermediaries that are out to conclude as many loans as possible (the hunt for production).

The AFM has observed that in 39 client files Maesons stipulated prohibited fees from its clients for its services from 14 November 2012 up to and including 30 January 2013. These fees amounted (as a rule) to no less than €2500. The clients had to pay the entire fee themselves.

Two former employees of another company that was previously fined by the AFM were responsible for these services and for charging these prohibited fees. However, Maesons is fully responsible for the services that are performed in its name and on the basis of its licence, including in the event freelance constructions are used.

Amount of the fine

The violation committed by Maesons is subject to a basic amount of €500,000. The basic amount can be increased or decreased if the seriousness or duration of the violation or the degree of culpability give cause to do so. In addition, the AFM also takes account of the extent of the equity and the financial capacity of the violator when determining the amount of the fine. In the present case, the basic amount was reduced in view of the size of Maesons. The AFM set the amount of the fine at €31,250 in view of the matters set out above. Maesons did not submit an objection against this decision, which means that the decision became final on 14 January 2015.

Consequently, interested parties can no longer submit the AFM's judgment contained in the decision to the courts for review. 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.

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