On 18 November 2009, the Commission approved a restructuring and asset relief package for KBC under the EC State aid rules. KBC is a Belgian integrated banking and insurance group, based primarily in Belgium and Central and Eastern Europe. KBC has received three aid measures to support it during the economic crisis: in December 2008 a recapitalisation of €3.5 billion; in June 2009, a second recapitalisation of €3.5 billion and an asset relief measure on a portfolio of Collateralised Debt Obligations (“CDO”). Approval of these measures was subject to KBC submitting a restructuring plan.

KBC’s proposed restructuring plan provided that KBC would keep its integrated banking and insurance model, but would divest or wind-down several other non-core businesses. The restructuring plans also detail how KBC will reimburse the Belgian authorities for the two cash injections it has received.

The Commission’s investigation has verified that the valuation of KBC’s CDO portfolio is in accordance with the Commission’s Impaired Assets Communication, and that the asset relief measure has adequately addressed its CDO exposure. Potential distortions of competition have been limited by the divestments and business reductions made by KBC and by the commitments provided by the Belgian Authorities.

IP/09/1730 – 18 November 2009