The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) is imposing a fine of 2 million euros on ABN AMRO on Thursday. In 2016, the bank did not timely confirm information about the early retirement of a chairman of the board. As a result, investors were unable to estimate whether a step would be taken by the bank that would strongly influence the price.
On 18 July 2016, Het Financieele Dagblad ( FD ) published that chairman Gerrit Zalm would not resign in 2018 but probably already in 2016. ABN AMRO did not respond to this reporting until mid-September in the same year.
This was about inside information, the AFM now judges. That is information "whose disclosure could have a significant impact on the price of the issuer's financial instruments". That inside information should have been made public in a timely manner.
"ABN AMRO is a publicly traded company and the violation prevented investors from knowing for almost two months that the information from the FD article was true and therefore important to them," the regulator explains.
The AFM finds the violation "serious and culpable". "This has damaged confidence in the market." The fine of 2 million euros would therefore be appropriate and should contribute to the awareness of the importance of timely informing investors.
The decision of the supervisor can still be submitted to the court by ABN AMRO.