The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the way financial institutions address organizational and legal challenges. FIs are in a rush to address the impact – both current and emerging.

Belgian government agencies directly responsible for FIs and the European Central Bank announced a series of measures to ensure that financial institutions under their direct supervision continue to finance the real economy to mitigate the economic effects of COVID-19. As regulatory agencies continue to study and assess the impact of the pandemic, financial institutions are expected to explore and identify alternative platforms and opportunities to ensure business continuity and compliance with existing regulations and guidelines.

Key questions focus on the following areas:

Lending Transactions

  • I am in the process of establishing a credit facility.  Are there any practical issues arising in connection with the COVID-19 situation?
  • I am a borrower and, although I am not immediately facing liquidity issues, my business is severely affected by COVID-19.  Is there a risk that my lender(s) call(s) a default?
  • I am a borrower facing liquidity issues as a result of COVID-19.  Can I suspend paying interest, or repaying my loans on account of force majeure, hardship or otherwise?

Insolvency and Restructuring

  • I am a director of a company facing liquidity issues as a result of COVID-19.  When should I consider filing for bankruptcy?
  • I am a director (or manager) of a company facing liquidity issues as a result of COVID-19.  Should I be concerned about personal liability?
  • I am a director of a company facing liquidity issues as a result of COVID-19.  How can I obtain protection from creditors?

Financial Services Regulatory

  • Which measures are taken in Belgium to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on financial institutions and the financial system as a whole?
  • Which measures are taken on an EU level to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on financial institutions and the financial system as a whole?

The Baker McKenzie Belgium team developed this covering key issues in Banking & Finance, as well as other legal challenges under Commercial Contracts, Data Protection, Employment, Mergers & Acquisitions and Tax, in Belgium. This client alert can help address your most pressing questions.

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