Ethical bank NewB is pulling the plug on its banking operations. Account holders will be compensated in full, but a "significant loss" is looming for cooperators, CEO Thierry Smets told De Tijd.
The sustainable bank has been facing problems regarding capital for some time now, and the prospect of closing down has been a very real possibility for months, with the worst now having become reality.
NewB will follow an extinction scenario for its banking activities, which according to Smets, means that new bank customers cannot sign up and there will be no new loans granted.
Furthermore, NewB will ask its approximately 20,000 bank customers to transfer their assets to another financial institution. The CEO stressed that NewB is able to pay all customer deposits.
Possibility to continue
In any case, the bank will retain its licence for as long as necessary.
Smets says the institution can also meet its credit obligations. There is also a chance that, provided the cooperators agree, the institution will continue to provide credit under another licence, just as the financial institution Mozzeno does.
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It is unclear what will happen to the investment company or Sicav NewB Invest, in which customers have invested close to €50 million. Investors can continue to execute transactions for now.
NewB's fourth business is the insurance policies of some 4,000 customers. This does not pose a problem as it does not require a banking licence.