Everything about the CPC
The Central Point of Contact for accounts and financial contracts (CPC) is a register of:
- Belgian accounts and financial contracts;
- foreign accounts of natural persons required to file a personal income tax return in Belgium;
- financial transactions involving cash.
The CPC was created in 2011 to combat tax fraud. It has been expanded numerous times over the years, primarily to meet the information needs of the competent bodies consulting the CPC. Over time, the CPC’s scope has also broadened. In addition to combating tax fraud, the CPC should also help to tackle money laundering, terrorist financing and other forms of serious crime.
The legislator has entrusted the management of the CPC to the National Bank of Belgium (NBB). The CPC is managed according to a strict legal framework and with due respect for the privacy of all parties involved.
The CPC allows information to be made available quickly to the so-called parties entitled to access the information. These are government bodies, individuals and institutions pursuing a public interest mission.
The CPC receives information through two channels:
- On the one hand from financial institutions (the so-called declarers) that are required to report information on their customers’ Belgian accounts, certain financial contracts and financial transactions involving cash.
- On the other hand from holders of foreign accounts that are required to declare their foreign accounts to the CPC.
Parties entitled to access the information
The CPC centralises data on all Belgian accounts, certain financial contracts, financial transactions involving cash and all foreign accounts of Belgian residents. The aim is to make this information available quickly to the so-called parties entitled to access the information. These are government bodies, individuals and institutions that are legally entitled to request these data as part of their public interest mission.
These parties entitled to access the information may request information from the CPC for various objectives (click ‘Objectives’ below).
- Certain officials of the Federal Public Service Finance and the Flemish Tax Administration: in case of indications of tax fraud as well as to collect tax and non-tax revenue;
- The courts:
- Crown Prosecutors, Investigating Judges, judges in criminal cases: to investigate and prosecute criminal offences and to conduct penalty enforcement investigations;
- Justices of the Peace: in the context of the appointment of an assets administrator;
- the Company Court: within the framework of insolvency proceedings;
- the Central Office for Seizure and Confiscation (OCSC/COIV): to conduct solvency reviews for the purpose of recovering seized or confiscated amounts.
- The intelligence and security services: for the collection of bank data in the context of special investigation methods;
- The Financial Intelligence Processing Unit (CTIF/CFI): to prevent the financial system from being misused for the purpose of money laundering, terrorist financing or other forms of serious crime;
- Judicial officers: at the request of an attachment judge as part of a simplified procedure for the precautionary attachment of bank accounts;
- Notaries: for drawing up declarations of estate.
The data are retained for a period of ten years in the CPC database.
For domestic accounts, financial contracts and transactions involving cash, this ten-year period starts from the moment the declarers submits information to the CPC in relation to:
- the closure of a bank or payment account;
- the end of the declarer’s status as bank or payment account holder, co-holder or proxy holder;
- the end of a contractual relationship of the declarer involving a specific category of financial contracts;
- the existence of a financial transaction involving cash.
For foreign accounts, the ten-year period starts from the moment the foreign account is closed. It is therefore all the more important that holders of foreign accounts actually notify the CPC of the closure of their account.
After the expiry of the ten-year retention period, the personal data are irretrievably deleted from the CPC database.