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Enterprises from countries other than the Caribbean Netherlands For The Caribbean Netherlands

Activities from other countries are, in principle, also subject to the licence requirement. This therefore means that activities undertaken by enterprises based in Curacao and St. Maarten also require a license.

A large proportion of the financial products and services in the Caribbean Netherlands are offered by branches of banks and insurers with headquarters in Curacao and St. Maarten.

These branches of banks and insurers established in the Caribbean Netherlands are exempt from a number of supervisory regulations. However, they must comply with the regulations to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorist activities, as well as specific conduct-of-business regulations.

Other than that, the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten is responsible for the supervision of these branches. For services in the Caribbean Netherlands that are contracted from enterprises whose headquarters are based on other islands, such as Curacao and St. Maarten, it applies in principle that a license is needed for these services.

Some enterprises can make use of the transitional arrangements, as described in Part 10 the Financial Markets (BES Islands) Act (Wet financiële markten BES - Wfm BES) and Section 4 of the Rfm (Financial Markets (BES Islands) Regulations (Regeling financiële markten BES)). This applies, for example, to advisers and intermediaries who were already active in the Caribbean Netherlands before 1 July 2012. However, they must then apply for a licence with the AFM before 1 October 2012. They will then receive a (temporary) right to continue offering the services.

Initiative test

A financial enterprise that provides services from a registered office in Curaçao or St Maarten to the Caribbean Netherlands may perform these activities without a licence if the initiative to take out the bank product lies exclusively or predominantly with the customer whose normal place of residence or business is in the Caribbean Netherlands. In addition, there should only be incidental activities in the Caribbean Netherlands. 

Initiatives undertaken by the enterprise are activities that draw the client’s attention to the enterprise, such as actively approaching the client, advertising in newspapers, on the radio or on the Internet, participating in trade fairs, or that are designed to acquire clients in the Caribbean Netherlands in other ways. In a case where the licence requirement is to be refuted, the enterprise must be able to demonstrate that the initiative was always with the clients in the Caribbean Netherlands. The actual situation is decisive in this context.

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