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Frequently asked questions Caribbean Netherlands - Legislation

Frequently asked questions - Legislation

Does Section 3:5 of the Wfm BES Decree apply to insurance intermediaries?

Section 3:5 of the Bfm BES stipulates that the day-to-day policy of an institution must be determined by at least two people. This provision does not apply to insurance intermediaries. 

However, please note that credit institutions and insurers that broker insurance products must indeed comply with Section 3:5 (1 and 2) of the Bfm BES.

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What transition period applies for the Wfm BES?

Institutions that were active in the Caribbean Netherlands before 1 July 2012 fall under a transitional regime in some cases. For more information, please refer to Part 10 of the Wfm BES and Part 4 of the Rfm BES.

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Currently I am a sub-agent of an intermediary. What will change for me with the Wfm BES?

The Financial Markets (BES Islands) Act (Wet financiële markten BES - Wfm BES) does not include the term sub-agent. However, what is included in the Wfm BES is the requirement of a license for advising on or intermediary of financial products. 

The sub-agent must therefore apply for an independent licence under the Wfm BES. With the entry into force of the Wfm BES, insurers will no longer be allowed to do business with intermediaries that are not in the register of the AFM.

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I am currently an authorised agent. What will change for me with the Wfm BES?

The Financial Markets (BES Islands) Act (Wet financiële markten BES - Wfm BES) does include the term authorised agent. 

With the entry into force of the Wfm BES:

  • an authorised agent requires a licence. 
  • insurers will no longer be allowed to do business with authorised agents that are not in the register of the AFM.
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Will different regulations apply for the Caribbean Netherlands and Curacao and St. Maarten?

With effect from 1 July 2012, there are new regulations in the Caribbean Netherlands. These regulations are different from the regulations in Curacao and St. Maarten. 

It is intended that Curacao and St. Maarten will introduce equivalent regulations for the conduct-of-business supervision in the future. This will mean there will continue to be a level playing field.

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Which credit advertisements must include a credit table?

The obligation to include a credit table in specific credit advertisements follows from Sections 7:3 and 7:4 of the Financial Markets (BES Islands) Decree (Besluit financiële markten BES - Bfm BES). 

These Sections stipulate that, among other things, a credit table must be included when an advertisement concerning credit contains statements about the costs aspect of a credit, such as the monthly or instalment expense or the interest payable.

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What (pre-contractual) information must be provided with offers of consumer credit or loans, including mortgage loans?

Part 5 of the Financial Markets (BES Islands) Act (Wet financiële markten BES - Wfm BES) and Part 7 of the Financial Markets (BES Islands) Decree (Besluit financiële markten BES - Bfm BES) contain regulations concerning the information to be provided. 

Section 7:6 of the Bfm BES contains specific stipulations concerning the pre-contractual information that a credit provider must provide. 

A format is included below that could be used in the preparation of the pre-contractual information:
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How are investors informed about any changes and news?

Investors can obtain recent information from the websites of the AFM, DNB, and the Ministry of Finance.

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How must changes in the actual manager of an insurance broker be communicated?

With the coming into force of the Financial Markets (BES Islands) Act (Wet financiële markten BES - Wfm BES) on 1 July 2012, actual managers only need to be notified with the licence application. If the AFM requests it, however, the insurance broker must be able to demonstrate that the actual manager possesses all the relevant diplomas.

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What are the requirements concerning the professional competence of an employee, who is not the actual supervisor, who works in the Caribbean Netherlands?

The legislation contains the following:

Section 3:11 of the Wfm BES stipulates that a financial institution must ensure the professional competence of its employees and other natural persons who, under its responsibility, are directly employed in the provision of these products or in providing these services. To this end, in any case, such a number of actual supervisors of the enterprise must possess sufficient professional competence that the quality of the services to the consumer or client can be assured.

This is further elaborated in Section 3:27 of the Financial Markets (BES Islands) Decree (Besluit financiële markten BES - Bfm BES): employees and other natural persons who, under the responsibility of a financial enterprise, are directly engaged in offering financial products or providing financial services, will possess sufficient relevant training provided by a financial institution or third party, or experience equivalent to this training.

Section 3:29 of the Bfm BES includes the provision that a broker in non-life insurance or life insurance must ensure that all the people, who have the actual management of an establishment of its business, possess a diploma that pursuant to Section 3:4 is designated for the brokerage of non-life insurance or life insurance respectively.

For this aspect there are two options:

Any employee who has substantive contact with the client will have a diploma, thus meeting the requirements of Section 3:27 of the Bfm BES;

Enough actual supervisors will have diplomas that the quality of the financial services to the client can be assured.

The AFM assumes in this context that the professional competence of the recommendations from employees who do not meet the professional competence requirements is assured through the visual checking of the recommendations by the actual supervisors.


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In which language should information be provided?

In the legislation is not included in which language information must be provided. The legislation does state that all information provided must be clear and comprehensible for every consumer. This means that the language in which the information is provided is relevant because it influences the comprehensibility.

All financial service providers should therefore ensure that the language of both their written and verbal information is tailored to the audience. This may mean that some information should be held available in several languages.

Legal basis

Article 5:3 of the Wfm BES states that all information that is provided or made available to consumers is factually correct, clear and not misleading. In the commentary on this article is included that in light of clear information 'the insight and language level of the average consumer or client should be taken as a starting point. Specifically with regard to the language, the financial services provider must take into account the multilingualism in the public bodies'. In addition, Article 7:1, under b, of the Bfm BES states that the information ‘is sufficient and presented in a way that is comprehensible for the average member of the group to whom it is addressed'.

Article 5:4, first paragraph, Wfm BES states that a consumer, prior to the conclusion of an agreement, must receive all information which is reasonably necessary to make a proper evaluation of the product or service. All this information must be clear, and therefore understandable, to the average consumer. Send this question