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Basic banking service for undertakings - basic or baffling

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Kaluma Nanyi
Nanyi Kaluma

Counsel

Brussels

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Camille Leroy

Senior Associate

Brussels

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Laura Savonet

Associate

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Basil Saen
Basil Saen

Trainee

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18 March 2021

In November 2020, the right for undertakings to a basic banking service was introduced into the Belgian Code of Economic Law. The adoption of this law follows more than 17 years after the adoption of the law of 24 March 2003 introducing the right for consumers to a basic banking service. As a result, not only consumers but also certain professionals are now guaranteed several financial services, including the right to open a payment account, to deposit and withdraw cash, and to execute payment transactions.
 
The right to a basic banking service is strongly entwined with the applicable legal framework tackling money laundering and terrorism financing (AML/CTF). This article, available to download now, assesses whether granting undertakings improved access to financial services accords with the existing AML/CTF regime, and concludes that a number of important questions in this respect remain unaddressed. 

That said, a Royal Decree will be adopted to further implement the right for undertakings to a basic banking service. It remains to be seen whether this Royal Decree will resolve the current concerns.