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News Bulletin for financial enterprises in the Dutch Caribbean - Edition 4 - January 2014
Dear relation,
You are receiving this fourth News bulletin for financial enterprises on Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba.

If you prefer to read the news bulletin in Dutch follow this link:

  Link naar nieuwsbrief NL
Topics in this news bulletin:
  Quality of pre-contractual information could be better
  Report antecedents of sitting executives and supervisory directors
FAQs on the AFM website
Quality of pre-contractual information could be better
In the previous period, the AFM looked into the quality of pre-contractual information about credit. Accordingly, it sent several credit providers a request for information last July. The findings based on the responses were then provided to the institutions concerned.

What did the AFM evaluate?

The AFM assessed the extent to which the pre-contractual information complied with the legal provisions. It therefore evaluated the following points:

• Is all mandatory information provided (in writing)?
• Is all information set out clearly in a single document?
• Is the information tailored to the wishes of consumers?

Main findings

All mandatory information has to be contained in a single document

According to regulations, all mandatory information has to be contained in a single document.This allows consumers to easily reference the information and make comparisons. The AFM found large variations in the quality of the information provided. Some institutions complied with the regulations. A number of institutions failed to provide all the mandatory information. This mandatory information was also sometimes partly in verbal form or in a variety of documents. In most cases, the information was tailored to the wishes of consumers. A few institutions, however, provided only standardised information. This, too, does not conform to current regulations.

Information has to be clear and understandable for every consumer

The AFM would also like to draw attention to the language in which the information is given. Mandatory written pre-contractual information about credit was often available in only one language. The regulations do not specify the language to be used for providing information to consumers in the Dutch Caribbean. They do stipulate, though, that the information has to be clear and understandable for every consumer. All financial service providers must therefore ensure that the language of their written as well as verbal information is tailored to the target audience. This means that some information might be available in several languages.

Report antecedents of sitting executives and supervisory directors
Reliable and ethical directors, executives as well as supervisory directors, are decisive to an honest financial sector. The supervisors are calling on financial enterprises to disclose the relevant facts concerning the properness of their executives and supervisory directors.

Criminal, financial, regulatory, tax, administrative and other antecedents have to be reported. Some examples of these other items are use of the tax amnesty (voluntary disclosure of deposits abroad, with or without the imposition of a penalty), a tax audit resulting in significant adjustments but no penaltyor personal default penalties.

The supervisors consider that reporting these antecedents is extremely important, because the properness of (future) directors, as well as supervisory directors, has to be beyond any doubt. Because for them to function properly as a policymaker, the confidence of the public and others is prerequisite. Properness is an ongoing requirement. This is not only assessed when someone is appointed to a position. For this reason, changes must be reported not only during the initial assessment process, but also afterwards if there are changes concerning relevant facts and circumstances. You can report the facts in writing, accompanied by an explanation.

De Nederlandsche bank (DNB, the Dutch central bank) and the AFM receive relatively few reports containing items of information about antecedents. Insurers and banks have to report to DNB, while credit providers other than banks, and intermediaries report to the AFM. Proper compliance with the reporting requirement is extremely important. When assessing whether someone is reliable, DNB and the AFM both take into account the fact that this person has voluntarily reported information to their supervisory authority. In case of doubt, it is always possible to contact the supervisor.

Introduction of suitability requirements for supervisory directors

Members of Supervisory Boards and Supervisory Committees have long been assessed for properness. Since the enactment of the Wfm BES, members of these bodies also have to satisfy fitness requirements. Candidate members must therefore be assessed for both properness and fitness before they can be appointed.

Incumbent members of such bodies are to be assessed for suitability when next standing for reappointment, but in any event no later than 31 December 2015.

Do you have a Supervisory Board or Supervisory Committee, and are some members due for reappointment soon? If so, you need submit them for assessment.

This can be done with the personal questionnaire available on our website page:

  Forms for the Dutch Caribbean

FAQs on the AFM website
The AFM regularly receives questions from financial enterprises on how legal regulations have to be explained, interpreted or applied. Answers to these questions are placed on the AFM website under the heading Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). We advise you to consult these FAQs at regular intervals.

The most recent FAQs were about education, whole-life insurance, how the AFM model can take certain domestic situations into account, overdraft, creditcard and negligible costs.

  Faqs concerning the Dutch Caribbean
If you have any questions as a result of this news bulletin, please send an e-mail to We will respond as soon as possible.

You can read more useful information on our website

  To the Dutch Caribbean website
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