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Newsletter for financial enterprises in the Caribbean Netherlands

10th edition - March 2016
Dear relation,
You are receiving this 10th newsletter for financial enterprises on Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba.

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

  Link naar nieuwsbrief NL
Topics in this newsletter:
  Femke de Vries, AFM board member
  New standard amounts for lending
Request for information concerning tie-in sale and life insurance commissions
  PE points mandatory?
  Are corner stores allowed to provide credit?
Femke de Vries, AFM board member 
I was appointed as AFM board member on 1 October 2015. Supervision of the  Caribbean Netherlands is part of my duties. It is important to me that there is a supervisor on the islands who advocates honest and transparent financial markets.

As an independent supervisor we wish to contribute to the sustained financial wellbeing within our Kingdom. Sound initiatives to realise this have already been implemented during the past years within the Caribbean Netherlands, such as strengthening the procedures for preventing the overextension of credit. This contributes to improved consumer protection and increases awareness.

In 2016, the AFM will once again endeavour to make the enterprises that come under its supervision familiar with the interpretation and application of the regulations. In the coming year, the AFM will tighten its supervision of tie-in sales and appropriate commissions for life insurance. You can read more about the activities of the AFM in 2016 in the AFM's activities calendar.

I am also very curious about your activities that contribute to our objectives for the coming years, and I look forward to a close connection between Amsterdam and the islands.

Femke de Vries
New standard amounts for lending
The Ministry of Finance adjusts the standard amounts for lending to consumers each year. This occurs on the basis of Section 2:5 of the Financial Markets (BES Islands) Regulation.

The new standard amounts are intended for credit that you will be providing as from 1 April 2016. The housing expenses are also included in the assessment. The standard is adjusted in line with the consumer index. On Bonaire, prices dropped by 0.9% during the past year. On St. Eustatius, prices dropped by 1% and on Saba by 0.1%.

  Model for maximum lending in the Caribbean Netherlands (.xls)
Request for information concerning tie-in sales and life insurance commissions
The reason for this request for information concerned the signs received and the answers to the self-assessments that were completed. 17 requests for information were sent in January to various banks, brokers and insurers. The AFM is currently busy analysing all the information that has been received.
PE points mandatory?
Effective as from 1 April 2016, Section 2:2 of the Financial Markets (BES Islands) Regulation will be adjusted as regards insurance diplomas. The list of accredited diplomas has been updated. The explanation to this section provides that a diploma issued on the basis of the Wft does not have to be kept up-to-date by means of a PE examination. The reason is that it would not be appropriate for a broker who transferred his activities to the Caribbean Netherlands after having obtained the diploma.

There is a new requirement for diplomas that were obtained more than ten years ago. If that is the case, the holder of the diploma has to demonstrate that he has obtained at least two years' relevant working experience during the past five years.
Your question to the AFM: "Is the corner store allowed to provide credit?" 
Yes it is. The corner store does have to apply for a licence for the provision of credit. A credit provider does not have to apply for a licence if the credit has a term of less than 3 months and only negligible costs are charged to the consumer (Section 1:9, first subsection, Bfm BES).

The term of 3 months is applied strictly: the loan must be repaid after 3 months. The actual situation is decisive in this connection. For example, if the credit is replaced or succeeded by another credit after 3 months, the AFM will consider this to be provision of credit that lasts for more than 3 months.

    What is meant by “negligible costs”? 
If you have any questions with regard to this newsletter, please send an email to
More information can be found on the Caribbean Netherlands website
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