Who directs and controls the National Bank?
Since the National Bank is an enterprise that performs tasks in the public interest, the legislature has endowed it with special organs.
Those organs are the Governor, the Board of Directors, the Council of Regency, the Sanctions Commission and the Resolution College. At the Bank, the General Meeting is not an organ in the same way as in a normal public limited company. ·
- The Governor directs the Bank. He chairs the Board of Directors and the Council of Regency when the latter discusses general questions relating to the Bank, monetary policy and the economic situation of Belgium and the European Union, the supervisory policy for each of the sectors subject to the Bank’s supervision, developments concerning supervision at Belgian, European and international level, and in general any developments concerning the financial system subject to the Bank’s supervision. He also chairs the Resolution College.
- The Board of Directors, composed of the Governor and a maximum of five members appointed by the King, is responsible for the administration and management of the Bank and determines its policy stance.
- The Council of Regency is composed of the members of the Board of Directors and fourteen Regents representing the Belgian socio-economic world. The Council of Regency has power to approve the annual accounts and to determine the final distribution of the profits. The 14 Regents are elected by the General Meeting. Nine of the candidates for the post of Regent are proposed by the Minister of Finance, and the other five are proposed by the organisations most representative of labour (2), industry and commerce (1), agriculture (1) and small firms and traders (1).
- The General Meeting, which represents all the shareholders, is chaired by the Governor. The ordinary General Meeting hears the annual report, elects the Regents and appoints the auditors.
- The Auditor verifies and certifies the Bank’s annual accounts, and reports on that assignment 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 the various items of information requested by the European Central Bank (ECB).
- Finally, a representative of the Minister of Finance attends ex officio the meetings of the Council of Regency in an advisory capacity. Except as regards tasks and operations which come under the European System of Central Banks (ESCB), prudential supervision and the Bank’s tasks whereby it contributes to the stability of the financial system, he watches over the Bank’s operations and may oppose the implementation of any decision which would be contrary to the law, the statutes or the interests of the State.