Largest Banks in Belgium in the Financial Industry

5 Largest Banks in Belgium in the Financial Industry

What is the largest banks in Belgium? Every country has its largest players, whether state-owned or private, which undoubtedly have the best systems to manage finances. One such example is the largest bank in Belgium, which operates to support investments and economic growth in the country.

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It’s no wonder that many large banks collaborate with banks from other countries to increase profits in the financial industry. Such collaborations help boost the economy of a country, supporting the financial needs of its citizens.

Largest Banks in Belgium

Largest Banks in Belgium in the Financial Industry

1. Dexia

This major bank in Belgium became the main bank formed in 1996, headquartered in Brussels. By the end of 2010, the company employed around 35,200 people and had core shareholder equity of €19.2 billion.

This large bank ranked 49th among the largest companies in Belgium, being a financial institution of French-Belgian origin.

Despite facing severe financial difficulties in 2008 and receiving a €6 billion bailout from taxpayers, it was the first major casualty of the European sovereign debt crisis in 2011.

Despite significant losses, the bank managed to recover through a structured development process after suffering losses due to Greek government bond write-downs and a more orderly resolution process starting in October 2011.

2. BNP Paribas Fortis

BNP Paribas Fortis is Belgium’s largest bank, an international bank based in Belgium and a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which had previously merged with Fortis Bank Nederland, a branch of the Fortis financial institution.

After acquiring ABN AMRO, Belgium’s largest bank experienced failures due to the subprime crisis and management errors, resulting in the sale of parts of its banking branches in the Netherlands and Luxembourg to the Dutch and Luxembourg governments.

Initially, Fortis Bank was first bought by the Belgian government and then sold entirely to the government, which subsequently sold it to BNP Paribas.

This bank offers a wide range of financial services to private clients, corporations, wealthy individuals, public institutions, and finance with its activities divided into four business lines. To support clients abroad, offices are available in 80 countries owned by the parent company BNP Paribas.

3. KBC Group

Belgium’s largest bank is a financial sector company with a primary focus on banking. In 2014, it achieved sales of US$17.2 billion with total profits reaching US$1.3 billion.

In the same year, the bank ranked 260th on the Global 2000 list, which ranks the largest companies in the world, with a market capitalization of US$6.3 billion and total assets of US$338.8 billion.

Founded in 1998 through the merger of Kredietbank, ABB Insurance, CERA Bank cooperative, and Fidelitas Insurance, KBC Group is one of Belgium’s largest companies and the second-largest bancassurer in Belgium.

By the end of 2020, it became the 15th largest bank in Europe by market capitalization and a major financial player in Eastern and Central Europe. It has employed approximately 41,000 staff and serves 12 million people.

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4. ING Group

One of the multinational banking and financial services companies headquartered in Amsterdam, ING Group’s main business is direct banking, retail banking, commercial banking, wholesale banking, investment banking, private banking, insurance, and asset management.

With total assets of $1.1 trillion, it is one of the 30 largest banks globally and one of the top 10 companies in terms of revenue in Europe.

ING is a member of the Inter Alpha Group of Banks, a consortium of top-class banks in Europe. Since its formation in 2012, the bank has been considered a systematically important bank.

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As of 2020, it had 53.2 million customers spread across 40 countries and was a component of the Euro Stoxx 50 stock market index. Its long-term debt stood at €150 billion as of December 2019.

5. National Bank of Belgium

This bank has been the central bank of Belgium since 1850, founded 100% by private capital under the Law of May 5, 1850, as a Societe Anonyme. It is a member of the European System of Central Banks and served as Belgium’s monetary authority until 1998 when it issued the Belgian franc, as two national banks had separate loyalties for their operations.

This bank has played various roles, including overseeing Euroclear and SWIFT in the financial market infrastructure field.

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Additional tasks include managing foreign currency reserves, collecting, distributing, and analyzing economic and financial information, and serving as a financial ambassador for the Belgian economy and international finance, providing services to Belgium, the general public, and the Belgian financial sector.

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