The accelerated fine procedure means that the fine process is accelerated in the interest of all parties. An offender may, subject to certain conditions, qualify for these accelerated proceedings. The AFM board decides whether that is the case.
Ban on providing brokerage services and exemption notification
The Financial Supervision Act (Wft) provides that it is prohibited to provide brokerage services with respect to financial products, other than financial instruments. This can be read in the first paragraph of Article 2:80.
Providers of investment products that do not come under AFM supervision as the result of an exemption are required to warn investors thereof in, among other things, advertisements and on their websites. For this purpose, a special mandatory image is to be used: the so-called notification of exemption. This can be read in the Exemption Regulations under the Financial Supervision Act. The exemption threshold was raised on 1 January 2012 from €50,000 to €100,000 per investment product.
What does the accelerated procedure comprise?
During the accelerated procedure, the offender does not dispute the facts and the legal assessment of the facts, and he cooperates voluntarily in the accelerated settlement of the fine procedure. The offender will receive a 30% discount on the amount of the fine to be imposed, and the AFM will state – together with the publication of the fine – that the offender participated in the Pilot for an Accelerated Fine Procedure.
If the offender as yet objects to the decision to impose a fine and in doing so disputes the established facts and/or the legal assessment of the facts, the offender will no longer satisfy the conditions of the accelerated procedure, and the discount on the fine imposed may be cancelled.
Conditions for the accelerated fine procedure:
- No previous fines have been imposed.
- There case does not involve any (reasonable) suspicion of offences under general criminal law, for example forgery, fraud or embezzlement, with respect to the offender.
- There is no public indignation involved.
- The case does not involve any substantial and specific prejudice to consumers/clients. An example of prejudice would be the abuse of personal data obtained.
- There are no other supervision antecedents. An exemption to this stipulation would be a warning in connection with the inclusion of the exemption notification in an incorrect manner.
- The offender has cooperated well in the AFM’s investigation.
- The offender does not dispute the facts and legal assessment of the facts from the investigation.
- The offender does not provide an opinion on the intention to impose a fine, and will not request inspection of the fine file.
- The offender satisfies all conditions of the accelerated fine procedure within the term of the Pilot for an Accelerated Fine Procedure.