Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets
|Autoriteit Financiële Markten|
|Jurisdiction||Kingdom of the Netherlands|
The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (Dutch: Autoriteit Financiële Markten) is the financial services regulatory authority for the Netherlands. Its role is comparable to the role of the SEC in the United States.
The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets was set up on 1 March 2002 as the successor to the Securities Board of the Netherlands (Dutch: Stichting Toezicht Effectenverkeer - STE). As part of the legislation that created the AFM, its responsibilities were greatly expanded to cover all financial products, including savings, investments, loans, insurance and accounting.
The AFM falls under the political responsibility of the Minister of Finance but is an autonomous administrative authority, which means that the AFM operates autonomously based on the powers given by the Minister of Finance.
Responsibilities and operations
The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets is the body responsible for regulating behaviour on the financial markets in the Netherlands. This includes regulating the behaviour of all parties involved with the savings, loans, investment and insurance markets. It includes regulating all organisations that provide financial products and those that issue products, including stock exchanges.
The AFM has the following three aims:
- making the financial markets more accessible
- promoting the smooth operation of the financial markets
- promoting confidence in the financial markets.
The public, the business sector and the government all depend on the financial products offered on the various markets for many of their activities. Confidence in the orderly and honest operation of these markets is therefore crucial.
The statutory board of the AFM consists of:
- Merel van Vroonhoven (since April 2014, Chairman)
- Gerben Everts (since November 2012)
- Femke de Vries (since October 2015)
Furthermore, Frans van den Hurk is COO since October 2015, but not included in the statutory board of the AFM.
With the advent of Euronext stock exchange which is not only located in Amsterdam, but also in Paris, Brussels, London and Lisbon, the AFM works closely with the regulators in those other countries to regulate this cross border stock exchange.
The AFM also participates in the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), which brings together more than 80 securities regulators from all around the world.