The Association of Stockholders threatened to make a claim against online broker DeGiro. The VEB confirmed this after reporting by Het Financieel Dagblad. According to the Investors’ Association, DeGiro has misled them.
Since its start in 2012, DeGiro has been making rapid progress in the Netherlands. The platform offers the lowest transaction costs, which attracts private investors who want to trade on the stock exchange themselves. Competitors and the VEB soon asked questions about whether these low transaction costs were counterbalanced by a higher risk. DeGiro denied this.
But last summer it became clear that the AFM regulator came to a different conclusion after an investigation. Customers of DeGiro have guaranteed risky investments of a sister company of DeGiro, the investment fund HiQ Invest. Without the customers knowing this.
The sister company has made transactions with collateral from customers and was able to keep the profits, says Errol Keyner of the VEB. If things go well, they become richer themselves and if things go wrong, the customers are the victims. A disgrace
Parts of the AFM study are painted black, says Keyner. The VEB therefore wants to know from DeGiro, among other things, how big the problem was and how long it played out.
The risks run by customers did not result in losses. The construction with HiQ will be finished in early 2018, a spokesperson says. DeGiro will respond substantively to the VEB’s questions.
Keyner says it does not expect a lawsuit to come to court. Hopefully DeGiro does not want this to escalate. It’s not a good idea to quarrel with your customers. If it’s up to the VEB, the online broker will still compensate customers who have been at risk.