Guarantee Fund and Protection Fund

FAQ

  • What is it about?

The letter you received is an informative letter which explains the money you have on your accounts is covered by the deposit guarantee system. It means that in case of failure of your institution, the Guarantee Fund will intervene and reimburse you the money you have in the bank up to a maximum of €100.000 per person.

  • What should I do?

You do not need to do anything. The Guarantee Fund will only intervene in case of failure of your financial institution, which is not currently the case.

  • Could you change my contact information?

For any questions relating to your banking, account statements or address changes, please contact your bank only. The Guarantee Fund has no information on this subject.

Assets on third-party accounts are considered to belong to these third parties if they are identifiable. The assets are then distributed among these third parties will thus be able to call on the €100.000 guarantee.

If the third parties are not identifiable, the funds are considered as belonging to the account holder, and therefore limited to €100.000.

The Guarantee Fund intervenes up to the first €100.000.

The acceptance of your refund request by the Guarantee Fund means you give up your claim with your failing credit institution for the refunded portion only. The Guarantee Fund replaces you as a creditor with that institution (subrogation) for the amount reimbursed.

If your eligible assets exceed €100.000, you remain creditor for the portion exceeding the €100.000. You can then file a statement of claim with the competent Commercial Court.

  1. Deposits on an account in an institution of credits (current accounts, savings accounts, term accounts …),
  2. Registered or dematerialized cash certificates registered in nominative accounts,
  3. Bonds and other bank securities issued or constituted before July 2nd, 2014,
  4. Deposit of funds held on behalf of investors pending allocation to the acquisition of financial instruments or pending repayment,
  5. Life insurance contracts of branch 21 with guaranteed return and subject to Belgian law.

Excluded (due to the “professional” nature of the customer or a particular feature of the deposit):

For financial institutions:

  • The assets of companies in the financial sector (banks, insurance companies, etc.),
  • The assets of the State and the public authorities,
  • The assets of the directors or auditors of the defaulting credit institution,
  • The assets concerned by the fight against terrorism and anti-money laundering.

For insurance companies:

  • Insurance contracts relating to supplementary pensions (group insurance),
  • Insurance contracts relating to supplementary pensions for the self-employed (TPA),
  • Insurance contracts that do not fall within branch 21.

An intervention request must be made using the application form provided for this purpose, in pdf or word format. The application form must be accompanied by:

  • A double-sided copy of your identity card;
  • Proof that you act as an agent or treasurer of the de facto association or corporation;
  • A bank account statement indicating that the bank account chosen for the reimbursement is indeed open on the name of the de facto association or corporation.

On the one hand, your banking products are protected up to €100.000 as part of the guarantee of bank deposits.

On the other hand, your life insurance contracts also benefit from a guarantee calculated at the surrender value of your insurance contract and limited to €100.000 in the context of life insurance protection.

You benefit from two separate guarantees.

The deposits listed below benefit from additional cover by the Guarantee Fund for a period of six months after the amount has been credited to the account or from the moment these deposits can be legally transferred:

1° Deposits that are directly related to the execution of a real estate transaction relating to a private residential property;

Conditions:

  • Protected deposits must either result from the sale of a private property or be intended for the purchase of such property.

The term "private residential property" refers to a property that serves, served or will serve as the principal residence of the depositor. Therefore, secondary residences, commercial buildings, land, etc. are excluded.

  • The buyer (or seller) must hold the account on which the deposits are placed;
  • In the case of a purchase, at least the signature of the sales agreement must be effective. A simple offer or purchase intention is not enough.

The additional protection of €500.000 is valid for the same property by depositor account holder. When several depositors hold the same account and buyers of the same property (such as spouses, for example), they can each claim this additional protection; but in all cases the total amount granted will be limited to €500.000 maximum.

  2 ° deposits which are directly related to particular events in the life of an applicant and which result from principal payments and interest resulting from a pension, a death to the exclusion of inheritance, a dismissal or a disability;

  3 ° deposits belonging to natural persons resulting from the payment of insurance benefits, as well as the payment of compensation granted to victims of criminal offenses or miscarriage of justice, whatever the nature of the damage.

The reimbursement ceiling for each category of deposits concerned is fixed at €500,000 per depositor and per institution adhering to the deposit guarantee scheme.

In the event of the occurrence of more than one of the cases listed in points 2 ° and 3 °, the total amount to be reimbursed by the Guarantee Fund may not exceed €500.000.

The Guarantee Fund may defer the repayment term of a deposit which enjoys a temporarily high protection.

No.

Only life insurance policies with guaranteed return AND subject to Belgian law are protected by the Guarantee Fund. However each country has its own legislation concerning the protection of life insurance. We advise you to check with your insurance company.

You must submit a request for intervention using the application form provided for this purpose in pdf or Word format. The application form must be accompanied by:

  • A double-sided copy of your identity card,
  • Proof of the holding of these certificates at a later date than the date of default.

You must submit a request for intervention using the application form provided for this purpose in pdf or Word format. The application form must be accompanied by:

  • A double-sided copy of your identity card,
  • Proof of the holding of these certificates at a later date than the date of default.

For financial institutions:

1st step : information

The procedure is triggered by the failure of your financial institution. The Guarantee Fund informs the public via its website, the media and the Moniteur Belge.

2nd step : communication of the account number

You will then be able to communicate an account number on which you wish to receive your refund. You can do this via the MyMinfin.be website or, for those who do not have access, via a form provided for this purpose and made available at the time of publication.

This process should be carried out as soon as possible or the payment period will be extended.

3rd step : refund to customers

According to the information received, the Guarantee Fund pays the amount to which you are entitled to the account that you have communicated to us.

The Guarantee Fund pays the refund within 15 working days.

4th step: treatment of special cases and end of repayment

The Guarantee Fund continues to handle special or complex cases, and any claim, and then informs the end of the refund.

Important note: for better communication, it is strongly recommended that you inform your bank advisor of any change of name or postal address.

For insurance companies

1st step : information

The procedure is triggered by the failure of your insurance company. The Guarantee Fund informs the public via its website, the media and the Moniteur Belge.

2nd step : the request for intervention

Within two months after the default, you can send us the form, duly completed, which will be available on our website or on request with a copy of your identity card. An application is mandatory, the Guarantee Fund does not automatically refund.

You will have the choice between;

  • A payment of the surrender value of you contract to a bank account of your choice (in this case, any taxes will be levied before the refund)
  • A transfer of your contract to another insurance company (this allows you to avoid the payment of taxes). You must then attach to your application a tax certificate provided by the new insurance company.

Warning: to avoid the payment of taxes, this new contract must have the same tax advantages as the one for which you request the transfer.

3rd step: payment of the refund

The Guarantee Fund then refunds or transfers the calculated amounts.

Warning: a tax certificate or a valid account number is required to proceed with the transfer or refund of the amount.

The Guarantee Fund reimburses each holder of a joint account individually according to his/her share. Therefore, each account holder must provide an account number to receive the refund. Assets deposited in a joint account are considered to be equally owned by the co-holders unless the actual distribution is known to the financial institution.

These distributed assets are to be added to the other assets of each of the co-holders who individually benefits from a reimbursement ceiling of €100.000.

Example:

Person A has an individual account with a balance of €6.000. Person B has an individual account with a balance of €98.000. Together they have a joint account with a balance of €6.000.

  • The reimbursement amount for person A is : €6.000 + half of €6.000 = €9.000;
  • The reimbursement amount for person B is : €98.000 + half of €6.000 = €101.000 => protection limited to €100.000.

The Guarantee Fund reimburses each holder of a joint account individually according to his/her share. Therefore, each account holder must provide an account number to receive the refund.

The Guarantee Fund has reserves of more than €3 billion that it can mobilize at any time. If the reserves were not sufficient, the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations would advance the necessary funds.

In addition, a Resolution Fund has also been created within Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations to avoid the failure of a financial institution. Preventive intervention thus avoids the intervention of the Guarantee Fund.

For the deposit guarantee:

Currently the repayment term is 15 working days. However the legislation provides for a gradual decrease to reach a deadline of 7 working days in 2024 maximum.

This decrease is determined as follows:

  1. 15 working days for the period from January 1st, 2019 to December 31st, 2020;
  2. 10 working days for the period from January 1st, 2021 to December 31st, 2023;
  3. 7 working days from 2024.

However, the legislation provides for the possibility of reducing the period of 7 days before 2024.

For the life guarantee insurance:

The repayment or transfer period for the life insurance guarantee is 3 months.

However, in exceptional circumstances, the Guarantee Fund may request a maximum of 3 extensions of the deadline. Each extension can not exceed 3 months. The maximum period is therefore 12 months.

For the deposit guarantee:

The repayment period may be longer, but not more than 3 months when the depositor is not the beneficiary.

The refund can be deferred under the following conditions:

  • When there is no certainty that the person is legally entitled to receive a refund;
  • Where the filing is the subject of litigation or restrictive measures;
  • When the deposit has not been traded in the last 24 months;
  • When the amount to be repaid is considered to be part of a deposit with temporarily high protection;
  • When the amount to be repaid is to be financed by the guarantee scheme of the home Member State and paid by the Belgian Guarantee Fund;
  • When the client has not communicated the account number on which to pay the refund.

For the life guarantee insurance:

  • When there is no certainty that the person is legally entitled to receive a refund;
  • Where the filing is the subject of litigation or restrictive measures;
  • When the client has not communicated the account number on which to pay the refund or provided the tax certificate required for the transfer of his insurance.

What happens in case of Bank A bankruptcy?

In the event of Bank A bankruptcy, protected debt securities are covered by the Guarantee Fund. These amounts will therefore be added to your potential assets placed with Bank A.

Be careful, bonds and other bank debt issued after July 2nd, 2014 are no longer protected by the Guarantee Fund.

What happens in case of Bank B bankruptcy?

Debt securities belong to you. In case of Bank B bankruptcy, they are returned to you.

All banks operating in Belgium are protected up to €100.000 per person and institution.

If your bank is headquartered in Belgium, your bank is protected by the Belgian Guarantee Fund.

If your bank is headquartered outside the European Economic Area AND the country in which its head office is located has no guarantee at least equivalent to that of the Belgian Guarantee Fund, it is protected by the Belgian guarantee.

If your bank is headquartered in the European Economic Area (excluding Belgium), it is protected by the guarantee system of the country in which its head office is located.

Attention: the refund of assets will then be made by the Belgian Guarantee Fund on instructions and financing of the foreign guarantee system.

If your bank is headquartered outside the European Economic Area AND the country in which its head office is located has a guarantee at least equivalent to that of the Guarantee Fund, it is protected by the protection system of the country concerned.

For the deposit guarantee:

Anyone holding assets:

  • A major, minor, guardian or represented by a third person, regardless of address or nationality;
  • An association, civil society, foundation or other group of any kind;
  • A company regardless of status or size.

For the life guarantee insurance:

Any natural person, association, non-profit association, company that has taken out a life insurance with guaranteed return (branch 21) subject to Belgian law.

An individual entrepreneur (craftsman, merchant, liberal profession, etc.) sometimes uses for his business affairs bank accounts separate from his personal accounts.

  • If he pursues his professional activity in the context of a separate legal entity, for example with a private limited liability company (PLLC), he benefits from the deposit guarantee of up to €100.000 for his personal accounts and a guarantee of up to €100.000 for his professional accounts;
  • Failing this, he benefits from a single compensation cap of €100.000 for all his personal and professional accounts.