Werner Van Lembergen quoted by De Standaard on multibillion euro "Corona loans" package

15 April 2020

Werner Van Lembergen, head of the Banking & Finance team, shared his expertise with the De Standaard newspaper regarding the Belgian Government's financial package to help companies deal with the challenges brought by the COVID-19 outbreak.

In its response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Federal Government in Belgium announced on 21 March 2020 a financial package (the so-called "financial bazooka") to help companies and individuals deal with liquidity problems consequent to the outbreak. The package includes a payment deferral of existing credits and a guarantee scheme for all new credits granted to viable non-financial companies and self-employed persons.

The Royal Decree of 11 April 2020 implementing the Law of 27 March 2020 sets out detailed measures with regard to guaranteed credit extended to corporates for up to EUR 50 billion. The guarantee scheme sees the possibility of 12 month 'Corona loans' for 'viable' companies facing difficulties because of the current situation. Companies already in (pre-COVID-19) difficulty cannot apply for this scheme; for such companies, Werner warns that more restructuring may be required.

Finally, Werner clarifies three possible types of loan applications within this scheme: (1) twelve-month loan with a government guarantee or (2) without it, and (3) a longer-term loan, the guarantee for which can be requested from the Flemish region.

Read the article published by De Standaard (subscription required)

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