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How Blanco is dealing with Dutch regulator AFM’s call for client actualisation

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The AFM has called on investment firms to pay extra attention to the updating of client profiles. After all, it is obvious that situations have changed for some clients as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. How is Blanco coping with this situation? We ask Manouk Fles, Chief Legal & Compliance Officer at Blanco.

Manouk, what could have changed for customers as a result of the COVID-19 crisis? 

Research by the NIBUD shows that income has decreased for one in five Dutch people. Small and medium-sized businesses and self-employed people also see a considerable drop in income, which means that they have to rely on reserves. This could mean, for example, that part of the invested capital still has to be used for everyday purposes. In turn, this has consequences for the invested assets and the investment strategy.” 

How can the Blanco platform help with client actualisation? 

Our Banking Platform contains the Financial Investment Plan’ module. In it, our users draw up customer profiles: the financial situation of customers is mapped out, the investment objective is requested, the risk appetite of customers is determined and the knowledge and experience of customers in the field of investing can be requested. This data is all neatly put together and our users can update the data as well.” 

What does Blanco specifically do to facilitate customer actualisation? 

This current situation is exceptional; a lot of data now suddenly needs to be updated in a short period of time. But for us, good things have come out of a bad circumstance: because of this situation, we can rapidly learn a lot from user experiences about updating data: what is useful and what can be improved? With that input from our users, we can significantly improve the ease of use of our technology.”

So? What could be better? 

Determining the right financial investment plan for a customer is quite complex, because one is often related to another. If a client has less income, for example, this can also have consequences on the investment goal: after all, the goal will then be less easily achievable and may also have to be adjusted. Since everything is so interlinked, the entire process has to be gone through again when data is updated on the Blanco platform. Of course, this is not always convenient and that is why we want to change. From the perspective of development and compliance, we are now looking at how we can divide up’ this process: we want to cluster interrelated information, but separate it from other information at the same time. As a result, users will soon be able to modify individual parts of customer information without having to repeat the entire procedure. We are currently investigating the possibilities, and of course, we will inform our customers as soon as this is live!”

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