The Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal (CBb) ruled on 06 July 2015 that the fine imposed by the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) on ABR Financial B.V. (ABR) was lawful and declared ABR's appeal unfounded. The AFM had imposed an administrative fine of €50,000 on ABR in Amsterdam on 17 July 2012, because ABR failed to comply on time with its obligation to notify transactions during the period from 28 June 2011 to 12 September 2011.
|State of affairs of legal proceedings
|Order imposed||Objection||Appeal||Further appeal|
|Initiated||Decision taken||Initiated||Judgment given||Initiated||Judgment given
|17-07-2012||16-08-2012||08-01-2013 (1)||13-02-2013||27-02-201 (2)||25-03-2014||08-07-2015 (3)|
(1) The AFM declared the objection unfounded and maintained the fine.
(2) The Rotterdam District Court held that the fine was lawful and therefore declared the appeal unfounded.
(3) The CBb declared the appeal unfounded, which means that the fine has become final.
The Financial Supervision Act (Wft) obliges investment firms that perform transactions in listed financial instruments to notify the AFM of the details of these transactions. This should be done as quickly as possible, but at the latest at the end of the next working day. The AFM uses the transactions that have been notified to identify market abuse and thus promote the fair and efficient operation of the capital markets, to ensure the confidence of investors in these markets.
ABR had already been issued with a formal warning from the AFM on 09 May 2011 in connection with a violation of the obligation to notify transactions. AFM established several months later that ABR had again failed to notify its transactions on time. It turned out that ABR had not reported transactions it performed in the period from 28 June 2011 to 12 September 2011 until 12 September 2011. What’s more, ABR did not notify these transactions at its own initiative but pursuant to questions from the AFM. ABR's failure to notify the transactions or to notify them in a timely manner means that it violated Section 4:90e, third subsection, of the Wft.
The basic amount for this violation is €500,000. The AFM took account of the seriousness and duration of the violation, as well as the culpability, the size and the financial capacity of ABR when it determined the amount of the fine. The fine was reduced on the basis of ABR's size.
The AFM declared ABR's objection unfounded on 08 January 2013 and maintained the decision to impose a fine. ABR subsequently submitted an appeal and further appeal against this decision, but the Rotterdam District Court and the CBb maintained the fine on 27 February 2014 and 06 July 2015 respectively and declared ABR's appeal and further appeal unfounded. The fine has become final as it is no longer possible to submit an appeal against the decision.
If you have questions or complaints, you can contact the AFM's Financial Markets Information Line: 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.