DNB is responsible for supervising compliance with the Wtt and any related secondary legislation. To exercise effective supervision, DNB is empowered to penalise breaches of the Wtt. The sanctions that DNB can impose include the administrative fine, the public warning and the public warning.
When can a public warning be issued?
The Wtt stipulates that, in order to promote compliance with this Act, DNB may bring the following five facts to the public’s knowledge:
- DNB’s refusal to grant a licence or a waiver while the applicant is acting as if it has been granted a licence or a waiver;
- the fact that a natural or legal person is active as a trust office without holding a licence;
- the fact that a natural or legal person holding a licence is failing to observe the licence requirements;
- the fact that a natural or legal person who is in the possession of an exemption or a waiver is not observing the requirements or restrictions attached to or stipulated in the exemption or waiver;
- the fact that a trust office has failed to follow a direction given by DNB.
DNB is in principle obliged to enforce the Wtt. However, it is free to decide what instrument it will use to enforce the Wtt. DNB’s enforcement policy is detailed and documented in the AFM-DNB Enforcement Memorandum.
Before issuing a public warning, DNB is obliged to inform the person concerned of its intention. This notification must state the reasons why DNB intends to take this step. Under the General Administrative Law Act (Algemene wet bestuursrecht / Awb), the person concerned has the opportunity to respond to this intention. He may choose to do so either orally or in writing. The person concerned is not obliged to make a statement about actions that may lead to the issuance of a public warning. DNB is obliged to inform the person concerned of this before requesting this person to provide oral information.
Objection and review
A person who disagrees with the decision to issue a public warning may lodge an objection with DNB within six weeks after the day on which that decision has been announced. In this case DNB will review the decision to issue a public warning. If the objection is rejected, the offender may apply to the administrative court (bestuursrechter) in Rotterdam for judicial review of the case, and may subsequently appeal against the court’s decision to the Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal (College van Beroep voor het bedrijfsleven).