The National Bank of Belgium (NBB) has been given responsibility by the Minister for Finance, Johan Van Overtveldt, to investigate various options to guarantee the future of Ethias. Amongst these, features the buy-back of the insurance company by the state-owned bank Belfius, L’Echo is reporting today (Wednesday).
The NBB has recently requested that Ethias submits a new supplementary reinforcement plan, from its own capital reserves, which are estimated to be worth 600 million euros. The main measure in this plan will be to remove definitively the assorted so-called “First A” contracts with a high guarantee rate.
Moreover, Ethias failed the stress tests of the European Banking authority, its solvency being less than the required 100% minimum required in the guidelines for the worst case scenario.
To avert any nasty surprises, several scenarios are currently being studied by the NBB at the behest of Mr Van Overtveldt. Affiliating Ethias to Belfius is thus currently on the table.
The possibility of affiliation proves an interesting one for the bank, for which the Belgian state, which places heavy emphasis on the banking and insurance industry, is the sole shareholder.