Banks in Belgium – Overview
There are just over 140 banks that operate in Belgium. The country’s banking system is considered one of the most sophisticated and liberalized in the world. Belgium is one of the pioneers of a cashless society, with 90% of transactions in the country done electronically. In this guide, we outline the top banks in Belgium.
Belgian banks operate in a low growth economy but are in a good financial position, according to Moody’s (2019), due to their strong loan quality and high capital levels.
Banks in Belgium can be classified into:
- Domestic banks
- Foreign banks
For anyone considering a career in banking in Belgium, this list of top banks in Belgium will be a helpful guide for where to start. To learn more, see our list of financial institutions.
The Top Banks in Belgium Include:
Founded in 1956, Argenta is headquartered in Antwerp. It is the fourth largest of the banks in Belgium. Its core business consists of savings and investment products, loans, and insurance products. The bank employs around 2,500 staff as of the end of 2015. It also operates in the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
Revenue: EUR 589.64 million (2020)
Net income: EUR 136.0 million (2020)
Total assets: EUR 46.23 billion (2020)
BNP Paribas Fortis
BNP Paribas Fortis is an international bank in Belgium that provides three core services: Retail Banking, Corporate and Institutional Banking, and Investment Solutions. The bank’s Retail Banking activities are covered through Retail & Private Banking (RBP) Belgium and Corporate & Public Banking, Belgium (CPBB).
The bank is a subsidiary of French international banking group BNP Paribas. BNP Fortis Belgium started its operations in 1990. The bank employs over 33,700 staff and is headquartered in Brussels. It is the largest bank operating in Belgium.
Revenue: EUR 7.10 billion (2020)
Net income: EUR 1.87 billion (2020)
Total assets: EUR 335.13 billion (2020)
AXA Bank was founded in 1881 and is into retail banking and financial services. The bank provides current and savings accounts, mortgages, short-term loans, installment loans, commercial loans, and renovation loans to individuals and small businesses. Headquartered in Berchem (Antwerp), it employs 171,000 staff.
Revenue: EUR 296.68 million (2019)
Net income: EUR 49.62 million (2019)
Total assets: EUR 2.88 billion (2019)
KBC Bank is part of the KBC Group and is the second largest of the banks in Belgium. The bank was founded in 1973. KBC is an acronym for Kredietbank ABB Insurance CERA Bank.
Apart from providing retail banking, insurance, and asset management services in association with sister companies KBC Insurance NV and KBC Asset Management NV, the bank is active in European debt capital markets and domestic cash equity markets. It is also active in corporate banking, leasing, factoring, reinsurance, private equity, and project and trade finance in Belgium, Central and Eastern Europe, and other parts of Europe.
The bank employs around 29,000 staff worldwide and is headquartered in Brussels.
Revenue: EUR 5.85 billion (2020)
Net income: EUR 933.0 million (2020)
Total assets: EUR 284.4 billion (2020)
Delen Private Bank
Delen Private Bank specializes in private wealth management and stock brokerage services. It maintains eight offices in Belgium, Switzerland, and Luxemburg and employs around 600 staff. The bank offers asset management services involving discretionary management and investment strategies.
It also provides estate planning services, including patrimonial consulting services. It is based in Antwerp, Belgium. Delen Private Bank is a subsidiary of Delen Investments C.V.A.
As of 2016, the bank’s assets under management were valued at EUR 37 billion.
The bank is owned by the French conglomerate, Crédit Mutuel Nord Europe. It offers banking services to retail clients. In 2013, it changed its name to Beobank N.V./S.A. from Citibank Belgium S.A./N.V. It is based out of Brussels and was founded in 1985. It operates as a subsidiary of Credit Mutuel Nord Europe Belgium SA.
The bank employs around 1,500 staff.
The Crelan bank brand came into existence following the merger of Lanbouwkrediet and Centea on April 1, 2013. Before that, the bank operated as a cooperative bank, focusing on the agricultural sector.
Crelan provides financial assistance for daily farming operations, seasonal planting, and equipment purchase purposes. It also offers car and home loans, savings, and student loans to individual clients. In addition, the bank provides business credit for renovation, investments, and related applications.
Crelan employs around 2,859 staff. It is headquartered in Brussels.
Net income: EUR 66.0 million (2018)
Total assets: EUR 15.7 billion (2019)
In 1998, the bank became the first one of the banks in Belgium to build an online investment site. In 2005, Keytrade Bank was acquired by Groupe Crelan. It is now a 100% subsidiary of Crelan. Keytrade Bank employs 136 staff and is part of the Crédit Mutuel Arkéa Group.
ING Belgique – ING België
ING Belgique is a subsidiary of the international banking group, ING Group. Previously known as Bank Brussel Lambert, the bank became part of ING Group in 1998. It provides banking, insurance, and asset management services. It also offers various products, such as savings accounts, term accounts, pension savings, savings plans, and current accounts.
The bank provides loans for vehicles, property loans comprising home, renovation, and bridging loans, loans on cash reserves, personal loans for miscellaneous expenses, working capital, and liquidity loans, and loans for commercial vehicles and equipment, recurring business expenses, and business premises, as well as bank guarantees. It employs 7,925 staff.
Revenue: EUR 2.22 billion (2020)
Net income: EUR 189.0 million (2020)
Total assets: EUR 162.3 billion (2020)
Dexia / Belfius
The bank was founded in 1996. Dexia S.A. is a public limited company and a financial holding company that is governed by Belgian laws. In 2015, Dexia Group employed 1,100 staff, spread over 13 countries. Of the figure, roughly 800 were based in Belgium.
In 2015, the Belgian government bought out Dexia Bank Belgium from the Dexia Group. It now operates under its new name, Belfius.
Revenue: EUR 2.15 billion (2020)
Net income: EUR 531.6 million (2020)
Total assets: EUR 188.0 billion (2020)
Banking Career Map
This has been CFI’s guide to the top banks in Belgium. To keep learning and advancing your career, we highly recommend these additional resources: