'No risk' to Belgian banks following week of turmoil, governor reassures

'No risk' to Belgian banks following week of turmoil, governor reassures
Credit: Belga

Governor of the National Bank of Belgium (NBB), Pierre Wunsch, has assured that Belgian institutions are sufficiently capitalised in case of problems in the stock markets, after a week of turmoil for American banks and Credit Suisse.

Wunsch was speaking on Saturday to L’Echo and De Tijd. “The situation of European banks cannot be compared to that of US regional banks,” the governor explained in the interview. “If Belgian banks were to write off losses on their assets at market value, they would still have enough capital.”

Belgian banks are stronger than the average European bank, he added. “So it is very difficult to imagine a return of a financial crisis.”

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Wunsch goes on to say that there are no signs of a poorly managed small bank in Europe which could set off another crisis. “We don’t see a risk of a knock-on effect or the risk of instability – if we look at the numbers from a rational perspective.”

The governor noted that Belgian savings are safe. “Belgian banks have much more collateral than they need. They have, most of the time, a strong deposit base. They have a wide range of assets giving access to ECB liquidity. As far as solvency is concerned, the level of own funds is also quite high,” the governor stated.

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