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6 April 2020

Deferment of business credit payments

Anyone who has been financially affected by the coronavirus crisis can request a deferment of their business credit payments. See below for more detailed information about the deferment.

Charter: deferment of business credit payments

The Minister of Finance, the National Bank of Belgium and Febelfin (the Belgian banking federation) reached an agreement on 22 March 2020 concerning the measures in support of businesses facing difficulties as a result of the coronavirus crisis. In particular, such businesses may request a deferment of their business loan and other credit repayments (a so-called “payment holiday”) for up to 6 months. The terms of this deferment are laid out in the ‘Deferment of business credit payments’ charter of 31 March 2020. The charter answers four questions which we will explain in more detail below.

Deferment of business credit payments: 4 principles explained
1. What exactly does the deferment entail?

The deferment relates to capital repayments on business loans

During the deferment period, interest will continue to accrue and will also be collected. 

You can request a deferment of capital repayments for a maximum of six months or until no later than 31 October 2020

If you submit your request on or before 30 April 2020, the deferment period will run for a maximum of 6 months until 31 October 2020 at the latest. For requests that are made after 30 April 2020, the end date remains 31 October 2020, which means the duration of the deferment period is reduced

Two examples for clarification:

  • Anyone who requests a deferment in April can enjoy a maximum of 6 months’ deferment of credit payments.
  • Anyone who waits until June to submit their request will benefit from a maximum of 4 months’ deferment (since the deferment period can only run until 31/10/2020).

You are not obliged to choose the maximum duration. You can also choose to defer payments for a shorter period.

The bank will not charge any filing or administration fees if you make use of the deferment.

Once the deferment period has ended, payments will recommence. The duration of your loan will be extended by the length of the deferment period

In other words, it will take 6 months longer to pay back your loan and consequently you will pay more interest than was calculated in your original repayment plan.

For example:

Deferment example

Deferment example

2. Which businesses are eligible for a deferment?

The above-mentioned deferment of credit payments is intended for healthy businesses that are now experiencing payment difficulties due to the coronavirus crisis.

A deferment can be requested by non-financial companies, SMEs, self-employed and not-for-profit organisations that meet the following 4 criteria:

1. The business/organisation is experiencing payment difficulties due to the coronavirus crisis:

  • turnover and/or activities have decreased or will decrease
  • full or part recourse has been made to temporary or full unemployment
  • the government has ordered the closure of the company as part of the containment measures.

2. The business/organisation is based in Belgium.

3. The business/organisation was not in arrears on its current loans, taxes or social security contributions on 1 February 2020. Or the business was less than 30 days in arrears on its current loans, taxes or social security contributions on 29 February 2020

4. The business/organisation has fulfilled its contractual loan commitments with all banks in the last 12 months prior to 31 January 2020 and is not undergoing any active credit restructuring.

Public agencies or governments are not eligible to apply for a deferment of payments.

3. Which business loans are eligible for a deferment?

You can request a deferment of capital repayments for one of the following types of business loans:

  • All fixed-term loans (investment loans, installment loans, roll-over term loans, VariFix loans)
  • Overdrafts, cash loans, fixed credit lines, opticash and roll-over revolving loans with a limit reduction up to and including 31 October
  • Bridging loans and one-off advances with a due date up to and including 31 October.

Leasing and factoring are not covered by the agreement. ING Lease Belgium is also offering the option to request a 6-month deferment for leasing contracts on movable property (i.e. not for real estate leases). Deferments of lease payments are not automatic and are subject to approval by ING Lease. 

Credits with codebtors are not included when you submit for all credits. In case you want to request a payment delay for a co-debtor credit. A specific request needs to be submitted by 1 of the mandate holders.

4. From and until when can deferments be requested?
  • Deferments can be requested from ING from 1 April up to and including 31 October 2020
  • Given that the deferment period cannot run past 31 October 2020, there is little point in requesting a deferment in October
  • Deferments can only be obtained on future monthly repayments (retroactive refunding of debited monthly repayments is not possible)
  • For operational reasons, you can only request a deferment for monthly repayments that are due no sooner than 5 banking days after the request is submitted. 
Requesting a deferment in practice

Do you think you the criteria and would you like to request a deferment of credit payments? 

In that case fill in the form via Business’Bank. The link will appear automatically when you have identified yourself. You can also find the form via the Self-service corner in Business’Bank. 

Look up the contract numbers and due dates of the loans for which you would like to request a deferment. You can find this information in your contract overview in Business’Bank or in the contracts themselves.

If you don't have access to Business’Bank yet, request access now.

You have plenty of time to request your deferment. Even if you only defer your May repayment, you will still benefit from the maximum period of 6 months. 

Remember to submit your request at least 5 working days before the payment date that you wish to defer. This is the time the bank needs to process your request.

Once you have submitted the online form, we will process your request as soon as possible. This may take a few days. There is no need to check the status of your case within the first 3 working days after submission. We will contact you as soon as a decision has been made about your request.