Christoph Van der Elst

Belgian Bank Governance before and after the Financial Crisis

WP 2010-10

Good bank governance is of vital concern to banks, financial industry and economy. The recent financial crisis has shown that an insufficient governance framework is an important attribute to a crisis. This article discusses corporate governance of Belgian banks: the specific regulatory environment, the ownership structure, the composition of the board, the management structure and the main corporate governance developments since the financial crisis. The new regulatory framework and supervision system made significant improvements to bank governance. A major problem and future challenge will be to appropriately address the tension between the market expectations of both performance and corporate governance on the one hand and the interests of the different actors on the other hand. We conclude that notwithstanding the seriousness of the financial crisis and the regulatory changes, these steps insufficiently address this conflict.