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COVID-19 - Impact on Financial Sector - 18 May 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



State aid: Commission approves EUR 903 million Belgian reinsurance scheme to support trade credit insurance market in coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a EUR 903 million Belgian reinsurance scheme to support the trade credit insurance market in the context of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Belgian reinsurance scheme, with a total budget of EUR 903 million, ensures that trade credit insurance continues to be available to all companies, avoiding the need for buyers of goods or services to pay in advance, therefore reducing their immediate liquidity needs.

The Commission found that the scheme notified by Belgium is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a member state and the general principles set out in the Temporary Framework adopted by the Commission on 19 March 2020, as amended on 3 April 2020 and 8 May 2020. Furthermore, the Commission found the scheme is in line with the Short-term export-credit Communication. On this basis, the Commission approved the measure under EU state aid rules.


FSMA announces the suspension of the ban on creating or increasing net short positions

On 18 March 2020, the FSMA imposed a ban on creating or increasing net short positions on shares admitted to trading on Belgian trading venues. The FSMA announces today that, as of 19 May 2020, this measure will be suspended.

This exceptional measure was taken because the FSMA observed large price movements in the market. This high market volatility indicated that the market had difficulties in correctly valuing the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the listed companies due to a lack of visibility and understanding at that time. The measure was aimed at preventing those conditions from deteriorating and potentially having adverse effects on the companies concerned and on market confidence in general.


Newsletter: customer-facing staff in training


The FSMA is well aware that the PCPs in training are subject to the regulations are obliged to pass a number of exams within a certain period. Some PCPs in training planned to take the recognized exams within the new system. The FSMA provides an extension of the term for taking the exams for the PCPs training affected by the corona crisis. As soon as there are concrete measures in this regard, the FSMA will communicate this.


ESMA – non-renewal and termination of short selling bans by austrian FMA, Belgian FSMA, French AMF, Greek HCMC, Italian CONSOB and Spanish CNMV

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, notes the non-renewal of the emergency restrictions on short selling and similar transactions by the following national competent authorities (NCAs): Finanzmarktaufsicht (FMA) of Austria; Financial Securities and Markets Authority (FSMA) of Belgium; Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) of France; Hellenic Capital Market Commission (HCMC) of Greece;and Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV) of Spain.

It also notes the early termination of the emergency restrictions by the Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB) of Italy, that was due to expire on 18 June 2020.

ESMA has coordinated the recent emergency restrictions renewals and has contributed to this aligned action today.

Copyright - Please do not quote without permission. Please note that this alert is not a legal advice.