DNB embarks on fining spree
NETHERLANDS - Dutch insurer Achmea is the latest company to be hit with a fine from pensions regulator De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) for allegedly violating Dutch law on corporate pension funds' use of member data.
The €400,000 fine on PVF Achmea and its sister company Interpolis is the second to be issued this week as the DNB yesterday fined MN Services for for trying to "illegally" obtain information about participants of industry-wide schemes for additional insurance services.
According to the DNB, both companies have not kept to the legal requirements set for the division between the pension arrangements and the additional insurance products.
In a reaction, Achmea chairman Guus Wouters stated the DNB has fined the company based on several links put on the website between the mandatory pension products and insurance products - as was the case with Mn Services yesterday.
Since a change was introduced last year, insurers and investment management companies are allowed to provide pension management services and additional insurance products. However, the law stipulates information presented to a member can only be provided on their mandatory schemes and not in the cross-promotion of insurance products.
VB chairman Peter Borgdorff told IPE "the DNB is interpreting the law too strictly" and, according to Borgdorff, the main intention of the law should be to provide a level playing-field for all. Instead, the VB official suggested, "at present, it seems that Dutch pension funds, according to the DNB, are not allowed to do anything at all anymore".
At present, parties interested in Achmea pension arrangements or insurance products can click on several links of the PVF Achmea websites between different products. Subscribers using the pension arrangements website are able to link to several insurance products such as salary saving schemes or life course arrangements.
Achmea said it does not see this practice as being illegal, the new DNB interpretation suggests the latter practice should not be in place.
PVF Achmea and Interpolis have assets under management from Dutch pension funds of EUR60bn.