Research Handbook on State Aid in the Banking Sector
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Research Handbook on State Aid in the Banking Sector

Edited by François-Charles Laprévote, Joanna Gray and Francesco De Cecco

The Research Handbook on State Aid in the Banking Sector brings together experts in state aid and in financial regulation, drawn from legal academia, legal practice, economics, and from the EU and EEA institutions to shed light on this relationship. The editors and expert contributors do this by elucidating key concepts that underpin the application of state aid law to banks, and by considering specific aspects of the interface between state aid and financial regulation. The Research Handbook's analysis is complemented by a number of key country-based case studies, and by a concluding section which takes stock of the Banking Union’s package of legislative/regulatory reforms and reflects on the possible future role of state aid in this sector.
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Chapter 12: State aid to banks in Belgium

Jean-Sébastien Duprey

Abstract

The financial crisis hit the Belgian banking sector hard and early. The Belgian State had to bail out the three banking pillars of Belgium, namely Fortis, KBC and Dexia. From recapitalisations to guarantees and impaired asset relief measures, Belgium made use of the whole panoply of State aid measures available to restore confidence in the banking sector, under the benevolent and yet firm control of the European Commission. Belgium also introduced a guarantee scheme for shareholders of financial cooperatives, which the European Commission found incompatible with the internal market. Overall, while the European Commission did not burn bridges, it made sure that State aid granted by Belgium did not go one bridge too far.

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