On 24 November 2021, the Dutch Minister of Finance submitted the Amendment Decree Financial Markets 2021 (Wijzigingsbesluit financiële markten 2021, the Amendment Decree 2021) to the Dutch Parliament (Tweede Kamer) and the Dutch Senate (Eerste Kamer). The Amendment Decree 2021 is part of an annual cycle of amendments to the laws and regulations relevant to the Dutch financial markets.
The Amendment Decree 2021 will, among other things, amend the Decree on Conduct of Business Supervision of Financial Undertakings (Besluit Gedragstoezicht financiële ondernemingen Wft, BGfo) and the Decree on Market Access of Financial Undertakings (Besluit Markttoegang financiële ondernemingen Wft). The most notable changes are:
- the BGfo will explicitly provide that automated advice (i.e. advice generated and communicated by an automated system) is subject to the same set of rules as regular or physical advice. Additional safeguards are introduced with regard to automated advice (e.g. two or more natural persons will need to be designated as being responsible for automated systems and the automated advice); and
- more transparency regarding commissions (provisies) for intermediaries and advisors in relation to non-life insurance products for consumers. Under the current rules intermediaries and advisors are only required to inform customers of the commission amounts upon the customers’ request, but in practice customers do not often request this information. Article 86i of the BGfo will provide that intermediaries and advisors need to actively inform consumers of the exact amount of any one-off commission payments (afsluitprovisie) or on-going commission payments (doorlopende provisie) received by them prior to conclusion of an insurance contract. The exact amounts will often only be known shortly before conclusion of the insurance contract. Therefore, it will be up to the intermediary or advisor to decide how to communicate the commission amount per insurance product (verbally or in writing) and at what stage to already inform the customer of the general principle of commission payments. If the exact amount cannot be calculated, the customer will need to be informed of the calculation method.
It is not yet clear when the Amendment Decree 2021 is likely to enter into force.