On 14 January 2021, the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (Autoriteit Financiële Markten, the AFM) published its supervisory agenda for 2021 (the 2021 Agenda).

In the 2021 Agenda, the AFM points out that the corona crisis is causing an economic contraction, Brexit is causing uncertainty in the capital markets, and the combination of these two developments accelerates trends such as digitalisation, continuing low interest rates and deglobalisation. In the 2021 Agenda, the AFM describes how the regulator deals with the risks arising from these developments and how action will be taken.

The 2021 Agenda comprises five sections:

  1. Key developments: in this section, the AFM describes the key developments it has identified, building on the AFM’s Trend Monitor 2021. This includes the impact of the coronavirus on the economy, financial sector and households, geopolitical developments such as Brexit and deglobalisation, developments in national and European legislation and regulations (for example in relation to pensions or sustainability), digitalisation of the financial sector and the transition to a sustainable economy and society.
  2. Strategy for 2020-2022: this section contains a summary of the AFM’s strategy for the years 2020 to 2022, briefly setting out the AFM’s mission, supervisory focus areas, supervisory objective in the market and three AFM-wide priorities.
  3. Priorities and key activities in 2021: this section describes the four objectives of the AFM in its supervision of ‘financial services’, ‘capital markets’, ‘asset management’ and ‘audit firms and reporting’. Three AFM-wide issues are also addressed, i.e. ‘sustainability’, ‘combating money laundering and other financial or economic criminality’ and ‘professional organisation’. These supervisory objectives have been translated into priorities and ongoing activities in 2021, which are described in section 3.
  4. Finances in 2021: this section explains the cost framework, the expenses specified by type, the investment budget and how the AFM is funded.
  5. Appendices: this section contains a number of appendices relevant in the context of the 2021 Agenda.

Besides the 2021 Agenda, the AFM has also for the first time published its research agenda. This agenda contains details on the research conducted by the AFM with relevance to its supervisory tasks and policies.