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Newsletter for financial enterprises in the Caribbean Netherlands 
12th edition - 29 December 2016
Dear relation,
You are receiving this 12th 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:
  A brief review of 2016
  New supervisory themes in 2017
 Information to consumers
 Self-assessment 2017
  Frequently asked questions
A brief review of 2016
Last year the AFM reviewed themes including tie-in sales, the amount of life insurance commissions and the stating of interest rates applying to consumer credit.

From its review of tie-in sales, the AFM concluded that the enterprises reviewed did not force their customers to purchase additional products or services. All the firms have now included measures in their procedures to inform customers of this. The review of life insurance commissions revealed that this market is very small and that commissions are not unreasonably high. Following the review of interest rates for consumer loans, all the firms reviewed have informed their customers in writing regarding not incorrectly stating interest rates in their contracts.

Generally, we see that companies are taking the necessary steps to improve the information they provide to their customers.
New supervisory themes in 2017
The AFM conducts its ongoing supervision in the Caribbean Netherlands on the basis of signals and relevant market developments. All our other activities are theme-driven. The AFM will focus on the following supervisory themes in 2017:
  • the amount of commissions for term life insurance
  • the costs of loans and additional products
  • responsible lending and appropriate advice with respect to loans.

In the case of term life insurance, we will assess the extent to which the commission is in reasonable proportion to the work needed for proper service provision and whether this contributes to the quality of that service provision. This applies to both insurers and intermediaries. Regarding the costs of loans, we will look at handling fees, the costs of insurance when taking out a loan and penalty interest rates. For responsible lending and appropriate advice, we will evaluate whether previous improvements are fully embedded in the processes and systems of financial enterprises.

Information to consumers
To better inform consumers regarding the duties and activities of the AFM, the AFM has given a number of radio interviews on Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba in October 2016. A town hall meeting was also organised on Saba. These interviews and the meeting dealt with issues including the role and mission of the AFM, in addition to customer protection. The AFM explained the rules for responsible lending and explicitly mentioned the maximum lending rate of 23%.
Self-assessment 2017
The AFM will organise another self-assessment in 2017. The aim of this is to maintain a good understanding of market developments in the Caribbean Netherlands. The AFM will send out the self-assessment questionnaire to banks, credit unions  and credit providers in early 2017. The turnaround time will be six weeks. Insurers and intermediaries will receive a request for a self-assessment in 2018. 
Frequently asked questions on the AFM website
The AFM regularly receives questions from companies on how certain statutory regulations should be explained, interpreted or applied. The AFM posts the answers to these questions on its website. We advise you to consult this information on a regular basis. 
Frequently asked questions
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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You can find previous newsletters via:

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Best wishes for 2017
Feliz Aña Nobo  ♦  De beste wensen voor 2017
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