New cooperative bank NewB gathers €35 million to get started

New cooperative bank NewB gathers €35 million to get started
NewB director Koen De Vidts Credit: Belga

NewB, a new cooperative bank, has succeeded in raising the €35 million it needed to obtain a banking licence, the organisers said. The link allowing interested parties to transfer money to the bank has now been taken down.

The bank started the fund-raising action started two weeks ago with the goal of raising €35 million. Any excess raised would be reimbursed to the investor, the organisers said.

The bank will now have to wait until February or March to see if it will be granted a banking licence by the European Central Bank (ECB). At present, the request is with the National Bank of Belgium (NBB).

Potential investors were assured by NewB that should any problem arise which prevents the bank from obtaining a licence, their money will be refunded, promised director Koen De Vidts (photo). If the response of the ECB is positive, though, the bank hopes to start its activities in May next year.

NewB will offer banking for the public: current accounts, savings accounts and medium-term loans. The initial rate of interest on deposits will be 0%, at least until the end of 2024.

Current account holders will not be permitted to go into overdraft. They will be issued with a bank card at a cost of €20 a year. Withdrawals from a cash machine will cost 75 cents each.

According to the bank’s prospectus, it expects to have 108,000 current account holders by the end of 2024, and 35,000 savings accounts.

The bank was conceived soon after the global financial crash of 2008 as an “ethical and sustainable” alternative to commercial banks. “The goal of NewB is to offer simple and transparent banking services which follow the principles of sustainability and ethics,” the investment prospectus reads.

Alan Hope

The Brussels Times

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