Why do the private shareholders of the National Bank not have the same rights as shareholders of other public limited liability companies?
The National Bank is a public institution, essentially pursuing objectives in the public interest. Its activities are subject to special legislation. It has special legal status, and special organs and operating rules.
The general meeting, which is not regarded as an organ of the National Bank, does not have the power to define the profit for distribution. Nor is it called upon to approve the annual accounts or to discharge the persons who manage and control the National Bank. At the National Bank, these powers which, in other companies, belong to the general meeting of shareholders, are vested in the Council of Regency which represents the Belgian socio-economic world.
Thus, the law limits the rights of the general meeting of shareholders and lays down special rules on the structure and decision-making process.