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THE REGULATION AND SUPERVISION OF THE BELGIAN FINANCIAL SYSTEM (1830-2005)

Erik Buyst
University of Leuven.

Ivo Maes
National Bank of Belgium, Robert Triffin Chair, Universite catholique de Louvain, and University of Leuven.

ABSTRACT

This paper provides an overview of the regulation and supervision of the Belgian financial system from the creation of Belgium in 1830 to the early 21st century. After severe crises, the National Bank of Belgium was created in 1850. The Great Depression led to further reforms, increasing the role of the government, especially through the establishment of the Banking Commission. In the post-war period, reforms were driven by changes in the financial landscape, especially an increasing role for market forces. In line with the despecialisation process, the responsibilities of the Banking Commission were gradually extended, becoming, in 2004, the Banking, Finance and Insurance Commission. Moreover, at the turn of the millennium, the role of the NBB in financial stability matters was enhanced.

Keywords: Financial regulation; Financial supervision; Belgium.

JEL classification: G18; N23; N44.

Acknowledgements: The authors would like to thank all those who contributed to this project, especially J. Abraham, O. Feiertag, S. Lazaretou, Ph. Lefevre, M. Margairaz and the participants of the Banque de France conference "Banks between risks and stability" and of the SEEMHN conference at the Bank of Greece. The usual caveats apply.

Correspondence:          
Erik Buyst Ivo Maes
University of Leuven. National Bank of Belgium
e-mail: Erik.Buyst@econ.kuleuven.ac.be Robert Triffin Chair
Universite catholique de Louvain
and University of Leuven.
e-mail: Ivo.Maes@nbb.be


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