The Netherlands’ competition regulator is considering launching an investigation into why Dutch financial services companies pay brokers fees to promote their insurance policies to consumers. In a move that may lead to a probe similar to New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s investigation of so-called “contingent commissions”, the NMa watchdog said it had asked Dutch banks and insurers to explain why the fee system is still in place.
“At this stage this is not an investigation. It is a consultation,” NMa spokeswoman Barbara Roest told Reuters. “We could still say that we will start an investigation if it appears that competition rules have been violated.” A large number of leading insurers, including some European firms, have received subpoenas from Spitzer.