Banks support individuals and businesses financially during the coronavirus crisis

31 March 2020 - 5 min Reading time

Important: This press release should be read together with the accompanying charters.


The coronavirus crisis has had significant consequences for the economy of this country. This puts pressure on the financial situation of many people, as many of them are at risk of losing their jobs or experiencing a period of reduced or even no income. At the same time, certain financial costs and obligations continue.


On March 22, Minister of Finance Alexander De Croo, the National Bank of Belgium, and Febelfin announced their intention to provide financial support to individuals and businesses in case they encounter difficulties due to the coronavirus crisis. This includes the possibility of requesting a deferral of payments for mortgage loans and business loans for a maximum of six months. Banks will not charge any file or administrative fees for these payment deferrals.

Johan Thijs, Chairman of Febelfin, explains the efforts of the financial sector: "A lot has changed in recent weeks. Many are facing an uncertain financial future, and hundreds of thousands are dealing with (temporary) unemployment or the possibility of losing their jobs, not to mention potential health issues for themselves or their families. A significant number of companies and organizations that were financially healthy before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic now need temporary assistance to get through this challenging period. As our country, like many others, is heavily affected by the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, financial institutions are more than ever taking on their social role in solidarity. We want to support our customers (individuals, self-employed, businesses, and organizations) who are facing extra difficulties and thus take responsibility in helping to solve this unprecedented crisis. Exceptional times require exceptional efforts. The support that we, in agreement with the government, announced on March 22 and are detailing today, benefits our customers who currently need it the most. This is something all our employees are committed to, now more than ever."

Minister Alexander De Croo: "The coronavirus crisis is hitting many families, self-employed individuals, and businesses particularly hard. They see a portion of their income disappear, rely on benefits, or are confronted with a sudden loss of turnover. It's reassuring to see that at such a difficult moment, the banks are taking on their societal role and, together with the government, are helping affected families and businesses. With this agreement, the financial sector is making an important effort to prevent mortgage borrowers, self-employed individuals, non-profit organizations, and companies with cash flow problems from being affected."

Together with the Minister, Febelfin has documented the practical details of the payment deferral in two charters: one for mortgage loans and one for business loans.

In short


Individuals and businesses/organizations that are financially affected by the coronavirus crisis and meet the eligibility criteria can request a payment deferral for their mortgage loans and business loans.

Payment deferral for individuals:

  • A payment deferral for mortgage loans means that a borrower does not have to repay their loan (both principal and interest) for a maximum of 6 months. Interest accrued during the payment deferral period will be settled later.
  • Banks commit to not charge their usual file or administrative fees.
  • The financial sector pays special attention to those who are most severely affected by the current crisis. Borrowers with a monthly net income of less than 1,700 euros can request a payment deferral without incurring interest on the deferred payments. The bank takes care of this.

Payment deferral for businesses:

  • A payment deferral for business loans means that the business/organization does not have to make capital repayments for a maximum of 6 months. Interest payments are still due.
  • Banks commit to not charge their usual file or administrative fees.
  • For new loans and credit lines with a maximum term of 12 months, a guarantee scheme has been developed in collaboration with the government.


  • Voor aanvragen die tot en met 30 april 2020 worden gedaan, kan maximum 6 maanden betalingsuitstel worden verkregen, en dit tot uiterlijk 31 oktober 2020.
  • Voor aanvragen die na 30 april 2020 worden gedaan, blijft de einddatum 31 oktober 2020.
    • Dit betekent bv. dat wie een kredietaanvraag doet in juni nog 4 maanden betalingsuitstel kan opnemen (juli-augustus-steptember-oktober).
  • Aanvragen die werden ingediend vóór de publicatie van de charters zullen worden geëvalueerd volgens de criteria van de charters. Indien nodig zal de bank contact opnemen met de kredietnemer
  • For applications made until April 30, 2020, a maximum of 6 months' payment deferral can be obtained, up to and including October 31, 2020.
  • For applications made after April 30, 2020, the end date remains October 31, 2020.
    • This means that someone who applies for a loan in June can still get 4 months of payment deferral (July-August-September-October).
  • Applications submitted before the publication of the charters will be evaluated according to the charter criteria. If necessary, the bank will contact the borrower.


  • Those who believe they meet the criteria to request payment deferral are asked to contact their bank. This can only be done by appointment or through the bank's available digital channels (email, chat, mobile app, etc.) and by phone.
  • Banks are making every effort to assist their customers as well as possible and as quickly as possible. All details about payment deferral can be found in the charter for mortgage loan payment deferral and the charter for business loan payment deferral."