Financial law is an umbrella term covering a wide range of legal issues involving the financial industry, potential breaches of a bank’s duty of care towards its customers, and regulations on the supervision of the financial sector. It includes problems and disputes about, for example:
- the supervision of financial institutions (under the Financial Supervision Act and the Market Conduct Supervision (Financial Institutions) Decree);
- the law on anti-money laundering (i.e. the Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Act and the underlying EU directives);
- interest-rate derivatives, including interest-rate swaps;
- a bank’s duty of care towards its customers, as where a bank wishes to cancel a loan or impose an interest surcharge;
- investments and related liability issues, including matters concerning asset management, investment advice and investment funds;
- loans and the refinancing of existing loans, including share issues (but not an Initial Public Offering (IPO) or an Initial Coin Offering (ICO)); and
- the law on insurance and insurance intermediaries.
What can we do for you?
All suppliers of financial services in the Netherlands are required not just to comply with the current (and rapidly evolving) legislation, including the Financial Supervision Act, but also to observe a duty of care towards their customers. For this reason, while it is accepted that they may seek to maximise their profits, they are also required to take full account of the reasonable interests of their customers, many of whom are in a disadvantaged position and are dependent on the service-provider in question. We are pleased to assist any companies or individuals who feel that their financial service-provider has failed to fulfil its duty of care. In the knowledge that the duty of care ends at the point where the customer’s own responsibility begins, we also offer legal services to service-providers who find themselves in a dispute with a customer about a possible breach of their duty of care.
As a further point, the requirements imposed on financial service-providers under the EU’s anti-money laundering directives and the Dutch Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Act are also being tightened up at high speed. Financial institutions are expected to act as gatekeepers in this respect, not only warning the authorities about, but also preventing, any situations that may entail a heightened risk of money laundering. The potential conflict between these two roles, i.e. as both a service-provider and a gatekeeper, may create misunderstandings with customers. We assist a large number of small and medium-sized firms, as well as financial institutions, in dealing with problems in this connection. We believe that financial institutions should be given sufficient opportunity to conduct any investigations as may be needed in order to comply with their obligations under the government’s anti-money laundering legislation, so that they can continue to serve their customers.
Who exactly can we help?
Our financial law experts are there to assist both financial institutions and a wide range of companies (including small firms), as well as private investors and high net-worth individuals. They deal with issues ranging from disputes between account-holders (i.e. companies and individuals) and their banks, investment advisers, investment funds, brokers, insurance companies, insurance intermediaries and/or asset managers, to applications and plans for loans and refinancing facilities, issues involving compliance with the Financial Supervision Act and the legislation on the prevention of money-laundering, and applications for licences.