The Commission has granted temporary state aid approval for restructuring plans relating to the Belgian Government’s decision to nationalise its second largest bank, Dexia Bank Belgium. Under the transaction the state acquired the bank from its parent company Dexia SA for a sum of €4bn. The Commission acted promptly in granting its approval, recognising the need to preserve financial stability in Europe.

An in-depth investigation is now underway to establish whether the acquisition price was proportionate to the bank’s value and, if so, whether it complies with EU rules for restructuring aid. The Belgian Government has been given six months to notify the Commission of a new restructuring plan for the bank.