Vanbreda General Terms and Conditions

1.   What purpose do these general terms and conditions serve?

1.1 Our services are subject to a number of arrangements that apply to everyone. Examples include liability or payment for our services. We have laid those arrangements down in these general terms and conditions.

2.   Who are we?

2.1 The company belonging to the Vanbreda Nederland B.V. group of subsidiaries that has been entrusted with the assignment, being Vanbreda Risk & Benefits B.V., ECODASS Insurance Services or Vanbreda Risk & Benefits Consultancy B.V., all established at Kampenringweg 45D, 2803 PE Gouda, hereinafter jointly and individually referred to as: 'we'.

3.   What do the terms used in these terms and conditions mean?

3.1 The following terms appear fairly frequently in these terms and conditions, so we will briefly explain them below.

  • you: the person to whom we have issued a quotation or sent a proposal or with whom we have entered into an agreement;
  • we: our office and individual employees (including those who no longer work for us) as well as our directors and/or partners;
  • our services: the activities we perform for you;
  • assignment: the assignment entrusted to us by you for consultancy or brokerage services in connection with the purchase of a financial product or the provision of other services, including, but not limited to, consultancy in connection with risks and risk management and consultancy or brokerage services in connection with the purchase of products or agreements for the provision of services;
  • financial product: a mortgage, an insurance policy, a pension scheme, a current, investment or savings account or a loan in respect of which we will provide consultancy services and/or in the arranging of which we will provide brokerage services;
  • financial institution: the provider of a financial product;
  • written or in writing: email transmission is also permitted.

4.   When do these general terms and conditions apply?

4.1 These general terms and conditions apply to all our services and to every assignment you have entrusted to us.

4.2 In the event of a conflict between the contents of the written arrangements between you and us and the provisions of these general terms and conditions, the provisions of the written arrangements shall prevail.

4.3 In the event that any provision in these general terms and conditions is found to be void, only the relevant provision shall be excluded from application and all other provisions shall continue to apply in full. The void provision will be replaced by a valid one that is as close as possible to the object and purport of the void provision.

4.4 Any general terms and conditions to which you refer when concluding an agreement with us shall not apply, unless we have accepted them in writing and without reservation.

5.   General arrangements concerning the assignment

5.1 An agreement is considered to have been established between you and us as soon as we have confirmed it in writing or have commenced the execution thereof. We may refuse assignments entrusted to us at any time without giving reasons.

5.2 Every assignment you entrust to us, once it is accepted, will be solely concluded with and executed by our office, even if you intend for the assignment to be executed by a specific person employed by us.

5.3 Unless the nature of the assignment entrusted or the written arrangements between us indicate otherwise, every assignment entrusted to us will create only an obligation to use best efforts on our part and not an obligation to achieve a result.

5.4 Unless agreed otherwise in writing with you, any deadline indicated by us in relation to the execution of an assignment is intended as a guideline and not as a strict deadline.

5.5 You may dissolve an agreement with us only if we imputably remain in default of our obligations towards you even after proper notice of default has been given. You will be required to comply in full with any payment obligations that have arisen prior to the dissolution and/or have regard to services already rendered.

5.6 These general terms and conditions have also been stipulated for the benefit of:
a. the directors of Vanbreda Nederland B.V and all persons employed by it;
b. any sister, subsidiary or parent companies of Vanbreda Nederland B.V. that are or will be involved in the execution of the assignment;
c. NLG Verzekeringen B.V. to the extent it is or will be involved in the execution of the assignment.

These general terms and conditions will continue to apply even when the aforementioned directors/partners and any other individuals employed by Vanbreda have left the service of the company or the aforementioned companies can no longer be considered to be sister, subsidiary or parent companies of Vanbreda.

6.   We may engage third parties

6.1 Where necessary, we may engage third parties for the purpose of executing the assignment entrusted to us. We will pass on any associated costs to you, provided we have agreed such with you in advance.

6.2 To the extent the execution of the assignment entrusted to us requires us to make use of recommendations prepared by external advisers (such as accountants, lawyers and tax specialists), we will, wherever possible, consult you about this in advance. Needless to say, we will exercise due care in selecting the adviser concerned. We will not be liable for any failure, whether attributable or otherwise, on the part of such external advisers.

7.   What should you bear in mind when considering proposals, quotations and advice?

7.1 Any proposals or quotations we send to you on behalf of a financial institution will be free of obligation and subject to acceptance by the relevant financial institution, unless expressly stated otherwise in the proposal or quotation.

7.2 You may not derive any rights from provisional calculations we have prepared in relation to the costs of a financial product and any implications thereof for your monthly charges. You should regard such calculations as provisional and as being for indication purposes only. They may be subject to interim adjustments in interest rates and premiums. We will not be able to provide a final calculation until a financial institution has submitted a quotation that has received your approval.

7.3 You may not derive any rights from the forecasts we provide you with regarding the results that financial products with an investment component could achieve. Such forecasts are for indicative purposes only. We are not responsible for the accuracy of forecasts provided by the financial institution for such products.

8.   What are the arrangements for our communication with you?

8.1 When you send us an email, you should not assume that we have received that message until such time as you have received confirmation of receipt from us.

8.2 We sometimes provide general information, on our website or through other communication channels, for example, or at your request. Such information is non-binding and can never be regarded as a recommendation given by us in the context of an assignment entrusted to us, unless we explicitly inform you that it is advice tailored to you.

8.3 We use the contact details you have provided for our communication with you. You must pass on any changes in those contact details to us in writing. Only then will we use those new details.

9.   What can you expect from us?

9.1 We perform our services to the best of our ability, in the manner that may be expected of a prudent professional, while never losing sight of your interests. This is our duty of care.

9.2 For the duration of an assignment and throughout the term of your financial product, we will inform you periodically of changes in legislation and regulations, changes in the financial product or other changes.

10.   What can we expect from you?

10.1 You must provide us with all the information we request from you. You must also provide us, unasked, with all relevant information we require to ensure proper execution of the assignment entrusted to us. You must also notify us without delay of any changes in your situation. Examples include changes in your company, such as business operations, business size, business assets, stock and the like, or in your family situation, home situation or income position. A change of bank, major purchases and the termination or amendment of current insurance policies held elsewhere are other examples. You are fully responsible for the accuracy and completeness of all the information you provide to us.

10.2 We will only be able to fulfil our duty of care if you comply strictly with your obligation to provide information. If you fail to do so, we will be entitled to suspend the execution of the assignment.

10.3 You are fully responsible for the accuracy and completeness of all the information you provide to us. If a failure to provide information in time or the provision of incorrect or incomplete information means we have to spend more time on or incur additional costs for the execution of the assignment, we will pass on the hours of additional time spent and/or additional costs incurred to you.

10.4 We may send you an invoice for interest or premiums for a financial product on behalf of a financial institution. You are personally responsible for the timely payment thereof. You should be aware that failure to pay any such invoice, or failure to pay it in time, could have major consequences. Your insurance policies may no longer provide cover. In the case of an invoice for mortgage loan interest, it could even result in the forced sale of the dwelling concerned.

11.   Arrangements concerning our fee and the payment thereof

11.1 The services we provide come in various forms, and there are various ways in which we can be remunerated for them. At the start of an assignment, we will lay down in writing with you the extent of the services we will be providing and the remuneration method. Our remuneration may consist of:

  • an hourly rate, in which case we will charge you periodically for the time we have spent on activities for your benefit;
  • a subscription fee, in which case we charge a fixed amount periodically (e.g. per month, per quarter or per year) for our services to you, regardless of the actual time we have spent on them;
  • a fixed rate/fixed fee, in which case we agree a fixed amount for a specific service with you in advance, regardless of the actual time we have spent on it;
  • payment from the provider, in which case we receive a payment (commission) for our services from the financial institution providing your financial product. At your request, we will allow you to inspect that payment.

Unless separate arrangements regarding remuneration have been made, we favour commission-based remuneration for products considered eligible.

11.2 We always pass on any changes in taxes and/or levies imposed by the government to you. We are entitled to increase the agreed rates in the interim if, following acceptance of the assignment, cost prices for Vanbreda are impacted by increases in the cost of materials or services necessary for the execution of the assignment and/or by increases in other costs.

11.3 We are entitled to increase our rates annually (indexation). We use the wage index of Statistics Netherlands as a basis.

11.4 We are entitled to charge an advance payment for services remunerated on an hourly rate basis or a fixed rate/fixed fee basis, which you must pay before we start our activities.

11.5 Unless we make different written arrangements with you, you must pay our invoices within 30 days of the invoice date, using the method stipulated by us.

11.6 If you fail to pay the amount charged by us within the agreed term, you will be liable to pay statutory interest on the sum owed without any advance notice of default being required. If you fail to pay even after receiving a demand for payment from us, we will have the option to pass on our claim for recovery, in which case you will also become liable to pay all extrajudicial collection costs.

11.7 Payments you make will always be used to settle any interest payable and costs first. After that, invoices due and payable will be settled in the order in which they were issued, even if you state that the payment relates to a later invoice.

11.8 If we are of the opinion that your creditworthiness justifies such, we shall be entitled to ask you to furnish us with adequate security ensuring that you are able to meet your payment obligations. We will be entitled to suspend provision of our services until you have furnished that security.

11.9 If you terminate the assignment prematurely and payment is made on a fixed rate basis, we may charge reasonable costs for any work we have actually carried out. In such cases, we will demonstrate that we have done so.

12.   Arrangements concerning our liability

12.1 It goes without saying that we will devote the utmost attention and care to your assignment. However, in the unlikely event of a fault on our part, our liability will be limited. Our liability is capped at the sum paid out under our professional liability insurance, inclusive of any excess. You will be provided with further details regarding our professional liability insurance if you so request.

12.2 In the event that a specific case is not covered under our professional liability insurance, our liability will not exceed the total amount in fees that has been charged to you for the assignment concerned and that you have paid to us. In the event that we have not charged you a fee for our services, our liability will be limited to the commission on the financial product to which your claim relates. Where services are provided on a continuous basis, the fee or the commission is capped at that which was charged or paid by the financial institution in the 12 months prior to the fault.

12.3 We will execute any assignments you entrust to us strictly for your benefit. Third parties may not derive any rights from the activities performed for you.

12.4 In no circumstances will we be liable for losses sustained by you or third parties:

  • as a result of inaccurate, incomplete or ill-timed information provided by you;
  • arising from errors in software used by us, unless we are able to recover such losses from the supplier of the software;
  • arising from your failure to pay the amounts charged to you by the financial institution in time;
  • as a result of the expiry of a financing arrangement clause agreed by you;
  • arising from the financial institution's failure to have the documents required for the execution of the mortgage deed ready in time or its failure to deposit funds with the civil-law notary in time;
  • as a result of our inability to fulfil our obligations or our inability to fulfil them in time or in full owing to force majeure, including measures imposed by the government.

12.5 Notwithstanding the provisions of this clause, we remain liable for loss or damage caused as a result of our acting with intent or wilful recklessness.

13.   What can you do if you have a complaint?

13.1 We have an internal complaints procedure. You may submit your complaint to our board of directors by letter or email. We will try to find workable solution to your complaint in consultation with you.

13.2 We are registered with the Financial Services Complaints Tribunal (Kifid) under no. 300.000870. If we are unable to resolve your complaint satisfactorily, you may present it to the Kifid for a binding recommendation in cases where the Kifid has jurisdiction (consumers and small businesses). You can also submit your complaint to the civil court, of course.

13.3 We will agree with you that we will abide by a binding recommendation issued by the Financial Services Disputes Committee without reservation, insofar as the dispute submitted does not involve an amount in excess of €100,000. You are, of course, free to submit your complaint or dispute to a court.

14.   How long do I have to submit a complaint?

14.1 If you have a complaint concerning the work we have carried out or the amount of the sums charged by us, you must submit the complaint within one year of receiving the documents, information or invoice to which your complaint pertains, or after you could reasonably have become aware of the shortcoming you have identified. Thereafter, you will no longer be entitled to hold us to account.

14.2 All rights of action and powers accruing to you in connection with the activities carried out by us will in any case expire five years after the time at which you became aware of or could reasonably have been aware of the existence of such rights and powers.

15. Protection of personal data

15.1 We will handle all the personal data you provide to us with care. We will not use them for any purpose other than the execution of your assignment or to send you general brochures or newsletters. We will never provide third parties with your data or those of your employees, unless such is necessary for the application for or maintenance of your financial product or in the event that statutory or public policy provisions require us to provide your data to a designated body.

15.2 In many cases, we are a controller within the meaning of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). You will find details on our website explaining how we take this into account when carrying out our activities.

15.3 We will conclude a separate processing agreement with you if we need to be deemed a processor within the meaning of the GDPR when carrying out our activities.

15.4 If you object to your personal data being included in a mailing list, let us know in writing. We will remove your data from the file concerned without delay.

16.   Applicable law and competent court

16.1 All proposals and quotations issued by Vanbreda, as well as all assignments accepted by it, are subject to the laws of the Netherlands. In principle, the Court of The Hague has jurisdiction.

17.   We are entitled to amend these terms and conditions

17.1 We have the option of amending the contents of these general terms and conditions unilaterally. In the event that we make amendments, we will notify you and send you a copy of the revised general terms and conditions. You may object to the application of the revised terms and conditions within 30 days of the date on which you were notified of the amendments concerned. We will then discuss the contents of the applicable general terms and conditions with you. If you do not object to the revised contents of the general terms and conditions, they shall apply with effect from the date stipulated by us.