Belgium provides a wide range of banking institutions and services. According to the European Central Bank, Belgium is the third largest country in Europe in terms of the density of bank branches. In addition, Belgium is at the forefront of electronic banking services. Currently, more than 90% of the transactions are done electronically.
In recent years, the traditional stereotypes of the banking sector been broken down. As the privatisation of state banks occurs and they integrate into the existing financial groups, banks can offer their customers a full range of financial services, from savings accounts and company loans to access to financial markets. Opportunities are provided by major financial institutions, complemented by specialised banks which offer services tailored to individual customer requirements.
Bank account in Belgium and the scope of banking services has changed significantly in recent years. There have been several mergers of large banks, with an increased presence of foreign banks in the country. The five largest Belgian banks (Fortis, BBL, KBC, Dexia and Artesia) offer their services in all market segments, including services in the insurance industry.
Wire transfer can be accomplished through ATMs, self-banking or via the telephone. Account management on the phone is offered by many banks. With this service you can access your account via touch-tone phone, anywhere in the world. Connecting to the account management system is simple, just enter the password.
A common practice in Belgium is the use of instructions to the bank to automatically pay certain bills (domiciliation). With their help, your bills for gas, electricity, water, etc. will automatically be paid by the bank. For making regular payments to the same amount (eg, rent, or loan repayment), you can also give instructions to the bank (standing order). In addition, you can give instructions to the bank to automatically transfer money from your checking account to your savings account (in excess of the current account balance on a pre-defined limit).