Multilingual Business Communication

October 29, 2008

KBC receives 3,5 billion from Belgian government

Filed under: crisis communication, Séverine De Ryck — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 9:04 pm

On Monday October 27th, KBC announced that the Belgian government would inject 3,5 billion euro in the financial group. Contrary to what we would expect, this transaction is not caused by liquidity or solvency problems, but by the growing need to strengthen the bank’s competitive position. Due to the fact that more and more banks in Europe received money of their government to counter the financial crisis, KBC felt the danger of suffering competitive disadvantages. Thanks to the Belgian injection, KBC is now the bank with the best position in the Benelux. This transaction is not a bailout like it was the case with Ethias, Dexia and Fortis, which were on the edge of collapsing. KBC was never in danger.

To communicate this injection to its costumers, KBC did the best it could with posting all information about the transaction on their website and in the newspapers, together with an official press release. Besides, the pictures of smiling representatives send a positive message to the clients.On Sunday however, the Frenchspeaking State Secretary of Finances, Bernard Clerfayt, did say that KBC had liquidity problems. This was an enormous blunder, and he had to swallow these words immediately. You would expect that important companies, especially banks, agree in advance on a common statement to communicate to the public. KBC-bankers were very dissapointed in the way the company organized its communication. Even though KBC is not in crisis, it does appear to the crowd that it is, which we can see in frustrated blog posts at newspaper websites.

http://www.tijd.be/nieuws/ondernemingen_financien/KBC_krijgt_3_5_miljard_euro_en_schrapt_dividend.8095929-433.arthttps

http://www.kbc.com/MISC/D9e01/~E/~KBCCOM/-BZIZTPN/

http://www.nieuwsblad.be/Article/Detail.aspx?articleid=9H227T0R

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1 Comment »

  1. you found a topic that could potentially fit in the category crisis communication, but you have focused too much on the economic crisis and not enough on the communication aspect for KBC. It takes too long for you to reach your exact point. I also think that you could have let your personal opinion shine through a bit more.

    On Monday October 27th, KBC announced that the Belgian government would inject 3,5 billion euro in the financial group. Practically speaking, this means that the bank receives this amount of money at the end of the year, while it will not pay a dividend for 2008 to its shareholders. Contrary to what we would expect, this transaction is not caused by liquidity or solvability [this is a literal translation of a Dutch word and I think you mean solvency] problems, but by the growing need to strengthen the bank’s competitive position. Because more and more banks in Europe received money of their government to counter the financial crisis, KBC felt the danger of suffering concurrential [competitive] disadvantages. Thanks to the Belgian injection, KBC is now the bank with the best position in the Benelux.

    Important to know is that this transaction is not a bailout like it was the case with Ethias, Dexia and Fortis. Those were institutions on the edge of collapsing, while KBC is not in danger. The Frenchspeaking State Secretary of Finances, Bernard Clerfayt, made thus a blunder when he said on Sunday that KBC had liquidity problems. He had to swallow these words immediately. KBC-bankers were very dissapointed in the way the company organized its communication. Even though KBC is not in crisis, it does appear to the crowd that it is, which we can see in frustrated blog posts at newspaper websites. Still, KBC did the best they could with posting all information about the transaction on their website and in the newspapers, together with an official press release. Besides, the pictures of smiling responsibles [representatives]send a positive message to the clients.

    Marilyn Michels

    Comment by meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie — November 16, 2008 @ 6:19 pm


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