Banking in Belgium – statistics & facts


A distinguishing trait of banks in Belgium is how international they are. Of the 81 banks established in Belgium as of March 2021, 63 percent had foreign ownership, whereas 19 percent had Belgian majority ownership. Some of the institutions with the most bank branches were foreign. BNP Paribas Fortis, the Belgian daughter of the France-based BNP Paribas, had 550 bank branches in the country in 2021, whereas ING Belgium (a company with roots in the Netherlands) had more than 570. At the end of 2020, there were roughly 4,200 bank branches in Belgium. This includes branches held by independent bank agents, as many banking offices in Belgium are managed by entrepreneurs who are not directly on the bank’s payroll. Banking in Belgium is also characterized by the number of different players on the market, some of which offer services in various market segments such as retail banking, corporate finance, investment banking, and asset management.

How is retail banking structured in Belgium?

Retail banking in Belgium combines elements of private banking and asset management, with banks offering different investment instruments and services for household deposits. Belgian households held over 1.53 trillion euros worth of financial assets at the end of 2021, with most of these assets being in currency and deposits. The number of asset managers in Belgium is far lower than in other countries in the region, and most private banking assets can be found at the four biggest consumer banks: BNP Paribas Fortis, KBC, ING Belgium, and Belfius. This is probably due to the relatively low bar set for clients, as investable assets of 250,000 euros or more are enough to participate.

Corporate banking in Belgium

Belgian banking plays an important part in the country’s economy and the financing of companies. Criteria for corporate banking have eased in recent years as banks have made it easier for companies to take a loan. These criteria were tightened again in 2018 as credit demand from companies grew. Companies wanted to make use of the favorable interest rates for non-financial companies, a consequence of the monetary policy of the European Central Bank (ECB). Overall, the total value of bank credit to companies in Belgium has increased steadily since 2014 and peaked in 2021 at 152.4 billion euros. 

This text provides general information. Statista assumes no liability for the information given being complete or correct. Due to varying update cycles, statistics can display more up-to-date data than referenced in the text.


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