Former minister quits Afab supervisory board

Willem Vermeend, a former finance and social affairs minister, resigned from the supervisory board of credit company Afab a week ago, the NRC reports on Thursday.

Vermeend, interviewed in the latest issue of Vrij Nederland magazine, refused to say if his resignation was connected to the problems facing Afab, which has announced plans to revamp its organisation and is currently assessing its customer portfolio for mis-selling.
Vermeend called for a parliamentary inquiry into the Dutch financial system following the fall of DSB bank at the beginning of this week, the paper says.
Afab founder Maasbert Schouten has also agreed to step down as CEO and the company is looking for a new director, news agency ANP reports.


On Thursday morning, the Telegraaf reported that Afab has trouble meeting its financial obligations and is in talks with a consortium of six banks in an effort to get its finances back in order. Privately-owned Afab has debts of between €180m and €190m, the paper says.
The company has begun a sweeping revamp of its operations which may involve cutting 200 out of 600 jobs, two members of Afab’s supervisory board are quoted as saying.
All client files are being reassessed to make sure customers have been sold products which meet their needs and which they can afford. ‘If that is not the case, customers will be approached to come up with a solution,’ the paper quoted the company as saying.
Afab has come under fire in the past for charging too-high agency fees on its single premium insurance policies (koopsompolis), the same problem which helped bring down DSB bank earlier this week.
The company says it has changed its fee structure and agents earn a fixed salary and bonus based on the quality of the advice they issue.
In tv programme Nova on Wednesday night, a number of Afab agents said they had been pressured to sell products with high fees. Similar claims are made in this week’s Vrij Nederland magazine and tv current affairs programme Network is set to make similar claims on Thursday evening, the Financieele Dagblad says.
Afab’s founder Maasbert Schouten (36) topped the Quote magazine list of young millionaires with a fortune of €334m in 2008.
Afab is sponsor of Arnhem’s premier division football club Vitesse.

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