DNB fines Mn for 'illegal' data use

NETHERLANDS - Pensions regulator De Nederlandsche Bank has fined Dutch pensions provider and asset management firm Mn Services for trying to "illegally" obtain information about participants of industry-wide schemes for additional insurance services.

Mn Services, which has assets under management of  €58bn and metal pension funds PME and PMT as its main clients, has been fined  €261,000, spokesman Felix Malten has confirmed.

The pensions watchdog focused on a non-public website of Mn, which allows connected employers to also supply information on salary development and additional insurances of their workers, Malten indicated.

According to the law, industry-wide pension funds are only allowed to provide information on their own mandatory schemes. This is designed to provide a level playing field with other market players on insurance products.

"At the moment, we are in discussions with DNB about the issue, initially to convince the regulator that its interpretation of the rules is not right," the Mn spokesman said. "In our opinion, we are not violating the law."

A DNB spokesman declined to comment, referring to the regulator's duty to secrecy. He made clear, however, DNB is in discussions with "a number" of parties on the issue.

DNB last year fined ABP, the €211bn civil service pension scheme, and PGGM, the €86bn healthcare pension scheme, €900,000 and €1.3m respectively for "illegally" promoting their subsidiaries which offer the ‘levensloop' or life course savings scheme.

Both pension funds have not yet paid the fines and are awaiting the verdict of their appeals against the DNB decision as both funds say they want clarity on the limits to which they can communicate with their members for commercial activities.

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