The NewB cooperative bank, first launched in 2011, has failed to fundraise a €40 million capital increase as requested by the National Bank of Belgium (NBB), as the deadline expired at the end of September.
Launched after the financial crisis, the NewB cooperative officially became a bank in 2020 and previously raised over €30 million to obtain a European banking license. Since then, however, it has struggled to attract new clients.
It is now unclear how NewB will proceed. The bank told L'Echo that it is still waiting for a final decision from the Walloon and Brussels governments on further investment in the project but it is already clear that the required €40 million will not be reached.
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The bank confirmed to De Morgen that it is in contact with the National Bank of Belgium about various scenarios. However, the main concerns are whether NewB can keep its banking licence and if it could possibly continue without it. In the worst case, liquidation proceedings will be started.
The bank points to the "changed reality in the financial markets" with higher interest rates favouring banks for several months now. Still, the savings of the 20,000 clients are safe and "the bank will not go bankrupt," NewB stressed.
The situation is different for cooperators as they will get their deposits back in the event of dissolution "after all obligations have been met," L'Echo reports. They will receive another invitation to a general meeting that will take place in December.