Property assets

Question discussed at the 2008 general meeting

As last year, questions were raised at the ordinary general meeting concerning the insured value and the surface area of the buildings owned by the Bank, the intention being that the current sale value of those buildings could then be estimated on the basis of that information.

However, the character of the property owned by the Bank is quite exceptional. The buildings are so specific that it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to estimate their current value ex ante. The only reliable indicator of a building’s value is the price actually paid when the building is sold. However, since the price set is specific to each building, it is not possible to extrapolate the prices obtained. 

In practice, buildings which are no longer used for the Bank’s activities are sold via a public sale procedure which is publicised as widely as possible, and in which the Bank is assisted by a panel comprising two experts and – in the case of a provincial sale – two notaries, one being a local notary.

The insured value of the property concerns the new value of the buildings, and takes no account of the value of the land and the foundations. This is internal information for the Bank, and it is impossible to calculate the current value of all the properties on the basis of the insured value of the buildings. 

Nor does the surface area of the properties permit an estimate of the sale value of the buildings. The total built area of the properties owned by the Bank currently stands at 235,478 m², of which 191.859 m² relates to the head office in Brussels. This is the total built area which includes not only the offices but also car parks, auditoria, technical facilities, and the printing works.