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. Since 2013, the CPC has centralised information on the foreign accounts of Belgian residents.
And since January 2022, financial institutions operating in Belgium have been required to submit additional information to the Central Point of Contact for accounts and financial contracts (CPC):
- bank and payment account balances as at 30/06 and 31/12;
- aggregate amounts held under investment contracts and related contracts as at 30/06 and 31/12;
- aggregate amounts held under life insurance contracts as at 31/12.
This extension of the reporting obligation was done mainly to meet the information needs of parties consulting the CPC ("parties entitled to information"). Over time, the CPC’s objective has also been expanded. In addition to combating tax fraud, the CPC is intended to help tackle money laundering, terrorist financing and other forms of serious crime.
The legislature has entrusted the management of the CPC to the National Bank of Belgium (NBB). The CPC is managed in accordance with a strict statutory framework and with due respect for the privacy of all parties involved.
The CPC allows information to be made available quickly to parties entitled to receive it, i.e. public authorities as well as individuals and institutions performing tasks in the public interest.
The CPC receives information through two channels:
- On the one hand, from financial institutions (so-called reporting agents) which are required to report information on their customers’ Belgian accounts, certain financial contracts and financial transactions involving cash.
- On the other hand, from the holders of foreign accounts which are required to declare these accounts to the CPC.
Parties entitled to 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 so-called parties entitled to information. These are public authorities and persons and institutions authorised by law to request access to the CPC further to the performance of tasks in the public interest.
These parties may request information from the CPC for various objectives (click on ‘Objectives’ below).
- Certain officials from the Federal Public Service Finance and the Flemish Tax Administration: in the event 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 business courts: in 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 misuse of the financial system for money laundering, terrorist financing or other forms of serious crime;
- Judicial officers: at the request of an attachments judge in the context of a simplified procedure for the preventive attachment of bank accounts;
- Notaries: for the purpose of drawing up statements of inheritance.
Natural and legal persons
Natural and legal persons are entitled to consult the data relating to them in the CPC database upon request.
If their data are inaccurate or out of date, they can ask the relevant reporting agent to rectify them.
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 to run from the time the reporting agent submits information to the CPC in relation to the:
- closure of a bank or payment account;
- expiry of the status of holder, co-holder or power-of-attorney holder for a bank or payment account;
- end of a contractual relationship with the reporting agent for a specific category of financial contract;
- completion of a financial transaction involving cash.
For foreign accounts, this ten-year period starts to run upon closure of the foreign account. It is therefore especially important that the holders of foreign accounts effectively notify the CPC of the closure of their accounts.
Upon expiry of the ten-year retention period, personal data are permanently deleted from the CPC database.