Virtuele financiële dienstverlening (e-banking en e-trading). Een transactionele benadering
This paper examines to which extent Belgian law at present enables, from a transactional point of view, the conclusion of financial transactions by electronic means. Basically, financial services regulation is characterised by a large amount of formal requirements with respect to the formation of contracts, which cannot be fulfilled in an electronic environment. In legal terms, a distinction should be made between a formal requirement imposed for purposes of proof of a contractual relationship and requirements which bear an influence on the validity of contracts. Although recent laws in Belgium have allowed the substitution of traditional means of proof by electronic means, there is not, at present, any rule which allows the formation of (financial) contracts by electronic means in general. The Belgian law will have to be adapted on numerous points in the near future, due to the forthcoming implementation date of the European Directive on electronic commerce. The difficulties currently faced by financial institutions in offering virtual financial services are illustrated by different examples: consumer credit, mortgage credit, e-trading. Published in: Privaatrecht in de reële en de virtuele wereld, Post-Universitaire Cyclus Willy Delva, Kluwer, 2002, p. 285-321.