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COVID-19 - Impact on Financial Sector - 17 April 2020


Please find below a summary of COVID-19 developments relevant to our clients; these alerts are dedicated to following up on the financial  regulators’ responses to the crisis. We have also created a COVID-19 Resource Center to offer legal and business insights as this crisis continues to evolve. We wish you and your loved ones well.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact: 

Tom Van Dyck
+32 475 90 90 91

Freya Mareels 
+32 475 25 11 50

Wim Dedecker
+32 491 36 03 99



Updated 2020 financing requirements and funding plan


The Belgian Debt Agency has modified its 2020 funding plan in order to take account of the increased funding needs resulting from the Covid-19 crisis. The Debt Agency plans to issue EUR 45.35 billion of medium and long term funding instruments instead of EUR 30.00 billion as foreseen in the original funding plan. As such OLO issuance would amount to EUR 42.85 billion in 2020. The Agency already issued a third new OLO benchmark (OLO91) on March 31, for an amount of EUR 8.0 billion, and it decided to add three OLO auctions to its auction calendar in May, August and October 2020.


Order of the Flemish Government amending the Order of the Flemish Government of 13 March 2020 on the recognition of the Corona crisis and derogating from the guarantee scheme for small, medium-sized and large companies

The Flemish government has issued an order to amend its previous order of 13 March 2020 concerning the recognition of the Covid-19 crisis and derogating from the guarantee scheme for small, medium-sized and large companies.


Statement of EU ministers of finance on continuing bank lending and on maintaining a well-functioning insurance sector amid the COVID-19 pandemic


The EU ministers of finance have issued a statement in which they emphasise the importance of banks continuing to lend to households and corporates, including SMEs experiencing temporary difficulties amid the COVID-19 pandemic. They ask banks not to refrain from making distributions during this period and to use capital and available profits to extend credit or other urgent financing needs arising from the ongoing crisis to their customers in a way that helps to ensure preserving economic activity.


ESMA issues new Q&A on alternative performance measures in the context of COVID-19

ESMA has issued a Q&A to provide guidance to issuers on the application of the ESMA Guidelines on Alternative Performance Measures (APM Guidelines) in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.


EBA agrees with the European Commission’s amendments to standards on risk weights to specialised lending exposures

EBA published today an Opinion in response to the European Commission’s intention to amend the EBA’s final draft regulatory technical standards (RTS) on assigning risk weights to specialised lending exposures before endorsing them. The EBA is of the view that the proposed changes, despite their substantive nature, do not alter the draft RTS in a significant manner, as they still maintain a good balance between the flexibility and risk sensitivity required for the IRB approach and the need for a harmonised regulatory framework.



EIB Group establishes EUR 25 billion guarantee fund to deploy new investments in response to COVID-19 crisis


The EIB Group is set to play a key role in the fight against the economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. Following a recommendation by the Eurogroup on 9 April, the Board of Directors of the EIB today backed the creation of a €25 billion European Covid-19 guarantee fund. The fund will enable the EIB Group to scale up its support for European companies up to an additional €200 billion – with a focus on SMEs.

The guarantee fund envisages a contribution from all 27 EU Member States and will also be open to contributions by third parties, for example from the EU budget. The guarantee fund will be established under the EIB’s structure of Partnership Platform for Funds (PPF), based on existing legal frameworks and standardized procedures. The fund will be formally established as soon as Member States accounting for at least 60% of EIB capital have made the necessary commitments. As there is no need to create new instruments or processes, the fund can be set up rapidly.

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