Dutch regulator imposes €2m fine on ABN AMRO over non-timely disclosure of inside info

Maria Nikolova

The bank failed to disclose information about the retirement of its chairman back in 2016 in a timely manner.

The Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) today announces the imposition of a an administrative fine of €2,000,000 on ABN AMRO Bank N.V. The fine was imposed because in the period between July 18, 2016 and September 13, 2016 ABN AMRO failed to disclose inside information on time.

An article on the early retirement of the chairman of the board of ABN AMRO was published on the website of het Financieele Dagblad (FD) on July 18, 2016. The article provided an accurate picture of the developments: the ABN AMRO supervisory board had started the procedure for the succession of the chairman of the board and it was expected that this would result in the announcement of the departure of the then chairman before the end of 2016.

The regulator notes that this information concerned inside information ABN AMRO should have disclosed after the FD article was published. ABN AMRO, however, failed to do so and did not comment on questions asked pursuant to the article.

The AFM explains that ABN AMRO is a listed company and, as a result of the violation, investors were unable to know for almost two months that the information in the FD article was truthful and was therefore relevant to them.

The regulator considers a fine to be an appropriate course of action in this case. Furthermore, according to the AFM, the fine helps to raise awareness of the importance of timely provision of information to investors about intermediary steps in a process directed towards the succession of a chairman of the board, for example.

The base amount of the fine in this case is €2,000,000 and the regulator considers its size to be appropriate. The AFM deems the violation serious and culpable, as it has damaged confidence in the market.

Interested parties can submit the decision of the AFM to the courts for review.

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