Clamp-down drives many payday loan firms out of business in NL

The Dutch financial services authority AFM has investigated 21 fast credit or payday loan companies since 2011 and at least one has been fined €2m, the watchdog says on Thursday.

Fifteen of the firms which have been investigated have now left the Dutch market, the AFM says. Such companies are operating in a ‘totally unethical way’ and earning money on the back of the ‘weakest in society,’ spokesman Marcus Wagemakers told Nos television.

The companies focus on people who need short-term loans of as little as €100 and cannot approach the banks. The cash has to be paid back over a very short period as well as ‘extortionate’ levels of interest and other charges.


Many of the 18 firms which the AFM found to be in breach of the rules are based abroad.

The company behind one loan firm, (, was fined €2m after investigators found it had earned millions of euros by charging clients the equivalent of up to 100% of the loan in costs and interest rates. The company originates in Britain where payday loan firms are rampant.


Another company,, is still active in the Netherlands. It too has been fined by the AFM and is based in Britain. The website offers loans of up to €400 and states, for example, ‘did your holiday cost more than expected this year? Make a request now’.


‘These are often large, well-organised companies,’ Wagemakers said. ‘What is disgusting is their earning model. Because they have thought about it carefully. They approach the very weakest purely for their own gain.’

The AFM says its research shows the number of payday loans issued in the Netherlands has dropped from thousands in 2011 to 1,500.

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