Dutch consumers' enthusiasm for cryptocurrency fell sharply over the past year, the Dutch authority on financial markets AFM said in a report published on Wednesday. The authority attributes the decreased enthusiasm to large price falls in the crypto market this year, NU.nl report.
A group of 21 high-level managers at ABN Amro contacted the Dutch supervisors on the financial markets to raise alarm about the lack of leadership at the bank. CEO Kees van Dijkhuizen is not a leader and the bank has basically no strategy, they write in a letter to DNB and AFM. The Ministry of Finance was also warned, NOS reports.
The Dutch government and authority on financial markets AFM must come up with guidelines for ICOs if they want to keep developments in this technology in the Netherlands, Jan Robert Schutte, Amsterdam-based CEO of CryptoAcademy and ICO adviser, said at the Black Sea Blockchain Summit in Tbilisi, Georgia on Wednesday.
"As long as the AFM doesn't say anything - instead of providing guidelines for ICOs - the ICO projects will leave the Netherlands because of the lack of clarity." Schutte said.
Dozens of Dutch companies take too long to prepare or publish their annual accounts, and thereby violate Dutch law, Financieele Dagblad reports based on research by professor of external reporting Ruud Vergoossen and AFM reporting expert Ton Meershoek.
The two researchers examined the 2015 annual accounts of more than a thousand large and medium sized unlisted companies in the Netherlands. Over 50 percent of these companies were late with their annual reports. Many companies do adhere to the law, but use as many exemptions as possible to disclose information later or not at all.
The debts of investors, home buyers, consumers, companies, and governments are rising to dangerously high levels world wide, Nout Wellink and Hans Hoogevorst warn in the Telegraaf.
Wellink and Hoogevorst were in charge of Dutch central bank DNB and Dutch authority on financial markets AFM respectively during the financial crisis that started in 2008.
According to the two financial experts, there is insufficient clarity on where the risks are, which means that markets could underestimate the rising deficits. They call te banking sector a particular cause of concern.
Banning cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is unfeasible, but the Dutch government wants to regulate the trade in cryptocurrency internationally to address the improper use of these digital coins, Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Finance wrote in a letter to parliament, NU.nl reports.
Hoekstra wants to bring cryptocurrencies into an "appropriate regulatory framework" without jeopardizing the technology's potential. He wants to make sure that the conversion of cryptocurrencies into regular money does not happen under the radar, for example.
New rules proposed by the European Commission could mean an end to the bonus cap for hundreds of Dutch investment firms, though the cap may still apply to companies large enough to be considered systematically important, such as banks and insurers, BNR reports.
Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Financie is looking into whether banning certain cryptocurrency exchanges is desirable and possible. He hopes to give the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, information about this in the next few weeks, AD reports.
According to Hoekstra, the government would like to ban bitcoin derived products such as binary options - where people basically gamble on whether an asset like Bitcoin will rise to a specific price, or fall below a certain amount. But he added that this must first be properly investigated.
Politicians, cryptocurrency companies and regulators appearing in parliament on Wednesday all agreed that clearer policy and regulations are needed around the developing cryptocurrency sphere.
The Dutch regulator on financial markets AFM wants to ban risky investments that are increasingly being marketed online, often from abroad.
Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Finance warned Dutch investors about the risks involved in trading in Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. The price of the largest cryptocurrencies plummeted last week.
The Finance Ministers of France and Germany are calling for the world's top economic powers to debate Bitcoin and cryptocurrency regulation at the G20 summit in Argentina next year. The Netherlands does not form part of the G20 - the 20 largest economies in the world - but was invited to participate in the summit by host country Argentina.
When it comes to Initial Coin Offerings or ICOs, peoples main concerns by far are how the field will be regulated and scams within the field, according to a survey among the 400 attendees to the ICO Event Amsterdam on Wednesday.
According to Lars van de Ven of the Dutch authority on financial markets AFM's FinTech department, the most logical thing to do at this time, is to let the ICO field self regulate. In this way, the industry can guarantee that ICOs will continue into the future in a more sustainable way, he said to NL Times.
The Netherlands seems to be an interesting option for companies arranging for a crypto currency token sale and initial coin offering, or ICO. Speaking to NL Times at the ICO Event Amsterdam on Wednesday, a number of ICO founders said they are interested in setting up shop in the country, and in bringing more jobs to the Netherlands. The event was attended by 400 people from a variety of industries, all interested in a burgeoning field that allowed organizations to raise over $3.6 billion in 2017 alone.
Initial Coin Offerings are a very risky, but potentially very rewarding form of capital raising provided that it is allowed to develop properly, according to Edan Yago, CEO and founder of Epiphyte. And for this to happen, the Dutch government and authorities should let ICOs develop unhindered, without stymieing innovation by applying new regulations onto this young field. "They should stand to the side and allow ICOs to develop", Yago said to NL Times.
Joost van Doorn - believed to be a Dutch man behind an Ethereum-based startup called Confido - apparently disappeared with around 318 thousand euros of his investors money. It is not quite clear whether Joost van Doorn actually exists, but it seems increasingly clear that the people who paid for the Confido launch will not see their money again, RTL Nieuws reports.
New digital cryptocurrency coins that some start-ups use as a form of investment fundraising are vulnerable to deception, fraud, and manipulation, the Dutch financial markets authority AFM cautioned. Investors in the Netherlands were formally warned by the authority, as well as the Dutch central bank, that they should avoid Initial Coin Offerings, or ICOs, as they are not unreliable.
An increasing number of companies from the United Kingdom are considering making a move to the Netherlands. The main reason for them to move across the Channel is the fact that the Brexit will likely mean more difficult trading with the European Union from within Britain, NRC reports
The fact that British Prime Minister Theresa May announced last year that in addition to the EU, the Brits also want to leave the European internal market, reinforced many companies' determination to move across the Channel, according to the newspaper.
Consumers- and financial markets authorities ACM and AFM are cracking down on unscurpulous debt collection agencies. They launched an information campaign to help improve enforcement of rules among these so-callec "cowboy debt collectors", ANP reports.
ABN Amro suspended nine employees suspected of forgery on mortage files, the Financieele Dagblad reports. According to the newspaper, the employees are suspected copying signatures of customers onto modified mortgage advice in order to close the file. This was done without the customers' consent.
Crowdfunded mortgage startup Jungo got the green light from the Dutch authority for financial markets AFM, both AFM and a spokesperson for Jungo told NU.nl. According to the founders, Jungo is the first company in the Netherlands to provide mortgages of which part is funded by private investors.
The Dutch authority for the financial markets AFM imposed millions of euros in fines on the four large accounting firms in the Netherlands. According to AFM, the firms did not live up to their responsibility of ensuring that all their accountants comply to auditing rules and failed in auditing financial statements.
ABN Amro is facing another fine due to interest rate derivatives, just weeks before the bank is expected to hit the IPO. The third quarter was kind on ABN Amro, with the bank making a profit of over half a billion euros.
The Authority for Consumers and Market is taking debt collection agencies to task for their "dishonest" and "unfair" practices. According to the ACM, collection agencies regularly victimize consumers by confronting them with dishonest claims, with unwarranted costs and unclear accounts and by putting them under unacceptable pressure to pay.