Who directs and controls the National Bank?
Since the National Bank is an enterprise which takes on tasks in the public interest, the legislature has given it special organs.
Those organs are the Governor, the Board of Directors, the Council of Regency, the Board of Censors and the Sanctions Committee. At the Bank, the General Meeting is not an organ as in the case of an ordinary public limited liability company.
- The Governor directs the Bank. He chairs the Board of Directors and the Council of Regency.
- The Board of Directors, composed of the Governor and a maximum of 7 members appointed by the King, is responsible for the administration and management of the Bank and decides the direction of its policy.
- The Council of Regency is composed of the members of the Board of Directors and 10 regents representing the Belgian socio-economic world. The Council of Regency has power to approve the annual accounts and to finally determine the distribution of the profits.
The 10 regents who are not members of the Board of Directors are elected by the General Meeting. However, 5 of the candidates for the post of regent must be proposed by the Minister of Finance and the other 5 must be proposed by the most representative labour organisations (2), and the most representative organisations from industry and commerce (1), agriculture (1) and small and medium-sized enterprises and traders (1).
- The Board of Censors, whose members are elected by the General Meeting, supervises the preparation and implementation of the budget of the National Bank. It is also the audit committee of the Bank.
- The General Meeting, which represents the totality of the shareholders, is chaired by the Governor. The ordinary General Meeting hears the annual report, elects the regents and censors and appoints the auditors.
- The Auditor checks and certifies the Bank’s annual accounts and renders account to the Council of Regency. He also performs a specific supervision and information role in relation to the Works Council, and certifies the annual accounts and various items of information required by the European Central Bank (ECB).
- Finally, a representative of the Minister of Finance attends, ex officio, the meetings of the Council of Regency and those of the Board of Censors, in an advisory capacity. Except as regards the tasks and operations which are within the domain of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB), he supervises the operations of the Bank and may oppose the execution of any decision which would be contrary to the law, the Statutes or the interests of the State.