On 16 January 2020, the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (Autoriteit Financiële Markten, the AFM) published its agenda for 2020 (the 2020 Agenda) and a strategy document outlining the AFM’s focus areas for the coming years (the 2020-2022 Strategy Document).

In the 2020 Agenda the AFM states that the five most important trends for its supervision are digitalisation, macroeconomic developments, changes in European and other regulation, geopolitical developments and the transition to a sustainable economy. The 2020 Agenda explains the renewed strategy of the AFM. The AFM’s mission is to translate the five aforementioned trends into tangible supervisory objectives for the financial markets. The AFM indicates that it will continue to make its supervisory processes more data driven and to develop the knowledge and competences of its employees.

The 2020 Agenda sets out the key developments identified by the AFM, the AFM”s strategy for 2020 – 2022 (the AFM has set itself one practical supervisory goal for each area of supervision, e.g. financial supervision, capital markets, asset management), the AFM’s priorities and key activities in 2020, and the AFM’s finances in 2020 (the cost framework, expenses, the investment budget and the manner in which the AFM is funded).

The 2020-2022 Strategy Document sets out the AFM’s strategy for 2020 – 2022 covering four areas of supervision:

  1. financial services (protection of customers in vulnerable situations);
  2. capital markets (a robust infrastructure and fair trading practices);
  3. asset management (a sustainable business model for asset managers and due care for clients); and
  4. auditing (improved quality of audits and contribution to effective incentives for audit (firms)).

In addition, the AFM provides more detail on its supervisory approach and philosophy in the 2020-2022 Strategy Document, i.e. describing how they operate and how they make their decisions. The AFM states that its supervisory philosophy includes five principles for effective supervision:

 focus on risks and increase quality in the sector;

  1. act as a sounding board for the sector, which is itself responsible;
  2. take a long-term view;
  3. look for sustainable and market-wide solutions; and
  4. include multiple points of view in judgements.

Finally, the AFM lists three AFM-wide priorities for 2020 – 2022 that it will apply to achieve its supervisory goals in 2022:

  1. be proactive in supervision, e.g. by looking ahead by observing trends and developments in the market and identifying risks and problems, expressing clear expectations to the market, and paying close attention to problems on the fringes of the AFM’s mandate;
  2. be a data driven supervisor, e.g. by building a strong data position, using data to determine the prioritisation of the AFM, and using data as stronger evidence in investigations and reporting; and
  3. be an influential player, e.g. by exercising influence in national policy debates, taking an international approach to risks, and continuing its leading role at an international level in the areas of capital markets supervision, consumer protection, digitalisation, sustainability and the supervision of auditors.

View the 2020 Agenda, 16 January 2020.

View the 2020-2022 Strategy Document, 16 January 2020.