Our formal and informal measures over the past decade
The number of formal and informal measures can differ considerably from year to year. In the case of formal measures, this could be due to, for instance, the complexity of the investigations. The number of informal measures largely depends on thematic projects in a particular year. If any shortcomings come to light, we sometimes inform the entire sector, which can result in a large number of informative letters on compliance with standards.
In the event of new legislation, informal enforcement can be a logical first step to address non-compliance. We can also choose to impose a single huge fine for systematic non-compliance - for example, in the absence of controls to ensure sound business conduct - instead of multiple smaller fines.
Downward trend in number of formal measures since 2012
In recent years there has been a downward trend in the number of formal measures imposed by the AFM. Until 2018 (excluding 2015), the AFM imposed at least 80 formal measures every year. The number of fines also decreased, but has been rising slightly again over the past few years. In recent years, in some cases more than one fine has been imposed, as a result of which the total number of fines was higher.
The figures do not include intended formal measures. In recent years, many companies that are informed of an intended formal measure comply with it immediately to prevent the measure from being imposed. This happened around 15 times in 2021. In such cases, it is no longer necessary (nor possible) to impose the measure definitively to remedy the violation. It is also possible that the opinion presented by the company demonstrates that it did not in fact violate any rules. Another potential factor is the fact that it has been compulsory by law, since 2016, to publish every formal measure imposed.
Upward trend in number of formal measures since 2019
The number of informal measures imposed is far greater than the number of formal measures. As pointed out, the number of measures may vary considerably from year to year. Over the past two years the number of informal measures has increased due to a substantial rise in the number of informative letters on compliance with standards - often as a result of a thematic investigation. Informal measures cannot be published. It could be required by law to report a measure to another supervisor.