Jeroen Piqueur, the founder and principal shareholder of Optima Bank, accepts absolutely no responsibility for the compulsory liquidation of the banking organisation. It was declared insolvent last week. He questions the role of the banking regulation authorities, in particular the National Bank of Belgium in leading to Optima Bank ceasing to trade.
He states, “The Financial Services and Markets Authority – the FSMA – and the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) caused the compulsory liquidation of Optima Bank. Our banking licence was withdrawn without us having any means of defending ourselves.”
He complains, “We did not even have the least chance for a right to reply. It is an absolute scandal.” These comments come in an interview granted to Knack, which was published yesterday (Tuesday) on the website of the weekly economic news magazine.
In the interview, Mr Piqueur vigorously takes issue with the fact that the NBB withdrew the banking licence, after detecting serious “irregularities.”
He says, “If irregularities appeared, they were indeed trivial matters.” He moreover expresses surprise saying, “Besides, even if serious breaches did appear, the NBB ought to ask why they were not found five years ago. Some matters allegedly date back to 2011.”
The Governor of the NBB, Jan Smets, stated “Piqueur was responsible for the compulsory liquidation (of Optima).” Mr Piqueur disputes these damning statements and anticipates instituting legal proceedings against the Governor, according to the comments he made in the Knack interview.