Coronavirus: banks develop plan to support citizens and entrepreneurs

13 March 2020 - 3 min Reading time

Adapted services and support measures protect the Belgian population and business world during this challenging period


The government announced additional measures yesterday to quickly contain the coronavirus in our country and provide the best possible protection to vulnerable individuals. The financial sector is also taking full responsibility in this regard. With appropriate measures, they aim to support everyone – consumers and businesses – during this challenging time.


Bank branches remain open, but the sector encourages the use of digital banking for most transactions to avoid visiting the physical bank. Mobile banking, online banking, and digital payments are available to everyone and are perfectly secure methods for banking remotely. Companies facing difficulties due to the current crisis are asked to contact their banker. Together, suitable measures can be explored to navigate this financially challenging period.

Entrepreneurs: talk to your banker


In consultation with the government, Febelfin, along with its members, aims to give healthy companies every opportunity to weather this period more easily. When these companies are affected or expect to feel the negative impact of the crisis in the near future, they are asked to contact their bank/creditor and work together to find a suitable solution.

Past crisis plans, such as those following the attacks in our country and the subsequent lockout, have shown that a solution could include adjusting the terms of existing financing (changing repayment terms, suspending capital repayments, etc.) or providing additional resources where necessary.

In recent years, banks have significantly strengthened themselves, making it easier for them to navigate crisis periods and continue to play their role in the economy during challenging moments.

Consumers: go digital as much as possible


The financial sector aims to continue supporting Belgian consumers with the financial services they are accustomed to. However, measures are being taken to protect more vulnerable individuals. Bank branches will remain open to the maximum extent, of course, in line with government instructions regarding opening hours.

However, we ask people to visit the bank branch only if absolutely necessary. This is especially discouraged if individuals have virus symptoms or have been in contact with potentially ill persons. The sector has made significant digital investments in recent years, enabling banks to offer a diverse range of options and channels for easily conducting daily banking transactions remotely. Therefore, we encourage Belgian citizens to conduct their transactions digitally (mobile banking, online banking, digital payments) as much as possible in the coming weeks. Banking advisors are available via chat or phone if needed.

By taking the above measures, banks aim to fully support the Belgian economy and population. Febelfin and its members will continue to closely monitor the situation.