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Top Banks in Belgium

Meet the top 10...

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, due to their strong loan quality and high capital levels.

 

banks in belgium

 

Banks in Belgium can be classified into:

  1. Domestic Banks
  2. Foreign Banks

For anyone considering a career in banking in Belgium, this list of top banks in Belgium will be a helpful guide of where to start.  To learn more, see all our lists of financial institutions.

 

The Top Banks in Belgium are:

 

Argenta

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.

As of 2016, the bank’s total income was US$672 million and total assets were US$42.51 billion.

 

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). It is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas. BNP Fortis Belgium started its operations in 1990. The bank employs 18,000 staff and is headquartered in Brussels.  In 2016, the bank reported a total income of US$4,096 million and total assets of US$151.9 billion. It is the largest bank operating in Belgium.

 

AXA Bank

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. The bank employs 850 staff and is headquartered in Berchem (Antwerp). As of 2016, the total income of the bank was US$440 million and total assets were valued at US$36.2 billion.

 

KBC

The 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 27,000 staff worldwide and is headquartered in Brussels. As of 2016, the total income of the bank amounted to US$5.4 billion and total assets reached US$362 billion.

 

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Delen Private Bank

The 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. Bank Delen NV is a subsidiary of Delen Investments C.V.A.

As of 2016, the bank’s assets under management were valued at US$9.7 billion.

 

Beobank

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.

 

Crelan

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.

The bank employs around 1,700 staff. It is headquartered in Brussels. As of 2016, the bank’s total income amounted to US$1.3 billion and total assets reached US$92.7 billion.

 

Keytrade Bank

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

The bank 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. It 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.

In 2016, the bank reported an income US$4 billion and total assets of US$175.6 billion. It employs 50,000 staff.

 

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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 this, roughly 80 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.

 

Banking Career Map

To see how a banking career fits in your future, please explore the interactive career map below to see what skills (i.e. financial modeling) are required for the job!

 

career map banking

 

Additional Resources

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:

  • Top 100 banks in the world
  • Bulge bracket investment banks
  • Boutique investment banks
  • Financial modeling guide

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