Acquiring a bank

Acquiring a bank is complicated transaction. It involves all the processes of acquisition including receiving financial regulatory approvals.

    Inhabitants - 10,431,477 (July 2011)

    Language - Dutch (official) 60%, French (official) 40%, German (official) less than 1%, legally bilingual (Dutch and French)

    Currency - EURO (EUR)

    Religion -Roman Catholic 75%, other (includes Protestant) 25%

    Politics - Politics in Belgium take place under the framework of a federal, parliamentary, representative democratic and constitutional monarchy, whereby the King of the Belgians is the Head of State and the Prime Minister of Belgium is the head of government in a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Federal legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of Parliament, the Senate and the Chamber of Representatives. The federation is made up of (cultural/political) communities and (territorial) regions.

  • Major industries - engineering and metal products, motor vehicle assembly, processed food and beverages, chemicals, basic metals, textiles, glass, petroleum.

    Banks (2010) - 105 banks; 4,087 branches; 61,467 employees; assets – EUR 1,163,10 billion; loans – EUR 405,40 billion; deposits – EUR 550,40 billion 

    Banking regulations – A law adopted on 2 July 2010 changed the supervisory architecture for the financial sector in Belgium. The legislature has opted to move towards a bipartite supervisory model known as “Twin Peaks”. The implementation of the Twin Peaks model as of 1 April 2011 fulfils, from a structural perspective, the two main objectives of financial supervision, and the system will be organised as follows:

    The National Bank of Belgium is, in addition to its mandate of guaranteeing the macroeconomic stability of the financial system, now also responsible for the individual and prudential supervision of the majority of financial institutions (micro-prudential supervision).

    The Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA), the successor to the CBFA, has gained a more robust role in the supervision of the rules of conduct applicable to financial institutions, in view of ensuring that all clients are treated honestly, fairly and professionally.

    The minimum capital requirement to set up a bank in Belgium is EUR 6,2 million.