The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) has imposed two fines on BinckBank N.V. (BinckBank). BinckBank received a fine of €500,000 on 16 March of this year for its failure to notify transactions on time. BinckBank, which manages assets for private investors under the name Alex Vermogensbeheer, has also used unclear and misleading advertising. The AFM imposed a fine of €750,000 on 1 July 2016 in this connection.
Failure to notify transactions on time
Investment firms, which perform transactions in listed financial instruments, are obliged 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, so that investors can have confidence in these markets. After BinckBank received a formal warning from the AFM, it failed to notify on time part of the transactions it performed in the period from 12 March 2010 to 28 October 2014.
Unclear and misleading advertising
Interested investors must be able to rely on the fact that the information in advertisements concerning financial services is clear and not misleading. In the period from 8 September 2012 to 26 August 2014, BinckBank applied a cumulative return percentage that was realised in only one of the many portfolios, while this was not clear from the advertisements. The return that was shown was each time higher thant the average return of investor portfolios jointly. The returns that were realised also had a large spread so that there were also investors who realised a much lower result. The advertising furthermore suggested that the one high return that was shown was the result of the method applied by Alex Vermogensbeheer. This was incorrect because the returns that were realised actually had a large spread.
Appeal before the courts
BinckBank has the right to lodge an objection to the fine for unclear and misleading advertising and thereafter it has the right to submit an appeal to the courts. It is no longer possible to lodge and objection or appeal against the fine for failing to notify transactions on time.
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.