Information for participants


In 2023, the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) is organising for the fifth time a survey on the financial behaviour of households.

More than 10,000 households have been selected at random, some of which will be invited to participate in the survey.

This survey forms the Belgian part of a European project. The same questionnaire will thus be used in most other euro area countries. The questions cover various topics related to the financial situation of households, such as credit, saving and consumption patterns.

Participation by households is fundamental. Without their cooperation, this study would not be possible. The NBB would like to extend its heartfelt thanks to all households that agreed to take part in the survey, which will contribute to a better understanding of the Belgian economy and the impact of economic policies on individual households.

HFCS Enquiry


This survey is being carried out in the general interest and relates to the population as a whole. The purpose is to gather information on the wide array of household financial situations.

Indeed, financial behaviour varies considerably depending on age, income, family situation, etc. The currently available statistics provide only a very general picture of this behaviour, derived from averages.

The results of the survey are intended to provide a more comprehensive and nuanced picture of household financial health in order to understand the various factors that affect the daily lives of individual citizens. The data may also be used for the purpose of making European comparisons.

How does the survey work?

A representative from Ipsos, the market research firm commissioned by the NBB to conduct the interviews, will contact you to schedule an appointment. You are of course free to choose the date and time that best suit you.

Please note that the Ipsos representative will be in possession of an Ipsos employee badge and a letter of introduction from the NBB. Each question will first be read aloud, and the interviewer will then transcribe your answers.

You will receive a gift to thank you for your participation.


What do I need to do in order to participate in the survey?

You don’t have to do anything. Your household has been selected at random. A representative from the market research firm responsible for conducting the interviews will contact you to schedule an appointment.

Where and when can I meet with the interviewer?

You are free to choose the place, date and time of your meeting.

What is the gift I will receive for participating in the survey?

To thank you for your participation, a small gift will be provided as well as a payment of €10. You can opt to either receive this amount or have it donated to a charity appearing on the list proposed by the NBB.

Approximately how long will the interview last?

The interview should last around 75 minutes. Depending on your particular situation and the size of your household, however, it may take more or less time.

May I refer to personal financial documents to make it easier to answer the questions?

Yes, of course. Incidentally, this will make the interviewer's job easier and shorten the interview.

Must all members of my household be present?

This is not necessary, but it could be useful as certain questions are intended for any member of the household aged 16 or over.

May I be represented by a person of my choosing who is not a member of the household?

Yes, provided this person is sufficiently knowledgeable about your household’s financial situation.

Will government services be able to access my answers?

No, this study is intended for scientific purposes only. Information regarding your personal situation will under no circumstances be made public or shared with third parties. Only results based on anonymised data will be disclosed.

Will I be informed of the main conclusions of the study?

Yes, the NBB will keep participants informed of the results of the study and its research through a dedicated webpage.

The National Bank of Belgium (NBB)

More information on the NBB, its tasks and activities can be found on our website.

Privacy statement

Participation in this survey is completely voluntary. A decision not to take part will not affect your household in any way.

The NBB is the controller of the personal data collected in the context of the survey. The processing of these data is based on Article 6(1)(e) of the General Data Protection Regulation. Statbel, the Belgian statistics office, acts as the data processor and is authorised to consult the following personal data in the National Population Register in order to select and contact potential survey participants on behalf of the NBB: last name, first name, national number and address. These personal data, with the exception of the national number, are only accessible to members of NBB personnel who are responsible for the survey and to Ipsos, the market research firm, in order to contact the selected households. These personal data will not be used for any other purpose, except possibly to check whether the correct participants have been contacted. Personal data obtained from the National Population Register will be deleted by Ipsos after one year and after seven years by the NBB.

The personal data collected through the questionnaire are mainly financial in nature and will be processed anonymously so that they cannot be linked to individual respondents. Even if data are transmitted to the European Central Bank or, for scientific or statistical purposes, to third parties, it will be impossible to trace them back. If the data are to be made available to a researcher based in a non-EU country, it will be ensured that the conditions to this end provided by the relevant rules and regulations, including the General Data Protection Regulation, are met. Under no circumstances will the data collected in the context of the survey be processed or shared with others for commercial purposes.

The applicable laws and regulations define the conditions under which survey participants can:

(1) access their personal data and possibly request the rectification thereof;

(2) object to the processing of their personal data for reasons relating to their particular situation;

(3) request the deletion of their personal data or a limitation on the processing thereof;

(4) obtain their personal data in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format and have the data transferred to another controller;

(5) lodge a complaint with the Data Protection Authority if they consider that their personal data are being processed in violation of the applicable laws and regulations.

The rights listed under points (1) to (4) above may be exercised by presenting a dated and signed request, together with a double-sided copy of the data subject’s identity card, at the NBB's counters or by posting the same to:

National Bank of Belgium

c/o Data Protection Officer

Boulevard de Berlaimont 14

1000 Brussels

A request may also be sent by e-mail, along with an electronic signature, to


For additional information on the survey, please contact Ipsos, the market research firm responsible for carrying out the interviews:
Tel: 0800/12 692

For more information on how the data are analysed and how the survey contributes to the gathering of data on the Belgian economy, please contact the National Bank of Belgium:

Tel: 02 221 44 66