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EU colloquium - "Personal loans in the crisis: from challenges to solutions", ECRC seminar in Charleroi 2-3 December 2010

Belgian ECRC partner l'Observatoire du Crédit et de l'Endettement organises a seminar on responsible credit and lessons from the crisis. Details and programme attached below.

«Personal loans in the crisis: from challenges to solutions»

Charleroi – Belgium, Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd December 2010


Credit is indispensable to the proper functioning of the various players in our society: public authorities, companies and households. The current crisis, that our economies are struggling to overcome, shows that a wrong appreciation of the lending risks and a wrong assessment of a borrower’s ability to pay back a loan can start a chain reaction and endanger economic growth in a large part of the world. Facing this profound crisis, public authorities have been forced to take exceptional measures that might also provoke new problems.

This seminar, held within the framework of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union by the FPS Economy, SMEs, Self-employed and Energy, in partnership with the Observatory of Credit and Indebtedness, will focus and analyze the potential role of credit in causing financial crises, and the lessons to be learned.

The analysis of the origins of the crisis will be illustrated by Jean-Stéphane Bron’s movie, where the author has collected testimonies from low-quality mortgage market protagonists in the US and confronted them in a fake trial.

According to popular wisdom: it’s better to be safe than sorry. We will therefore work on relevant factors for regulating credit so as to stop past mistakes from recurring. We will successively examine the appreciation of borrowers’ solvability, the share of the risk linked to debtor’s insolvency, the necessary regulation of specific types of loans, or loans contracted in specific circumstances, and finally the ideal framework within which the mortgage credit market should evolve.


2nd December: «Credit, crisis and society »

12.45pm          Welcome (Light lunch)

1.30 pm           Introductory speech
                        Mr Robert Geurts, Director General, FPS Economy, SMEs, Self- employed and Energy
                        Chairman: Dr Bertel de Groote, Professor, Hogeschool Gent (University College – Ghent) affiliated to Ghent University

1.40 pm           « Cleveland vs Wall Street »
                        A Jean-Stéphane Bron film, 2010 (part. 1), English spoken, with French subtitle

2.35 pm           « Personal loans: causes or products which spark off the financial crisis? »
Ms Françoise Masai, Director of the National Bank of Belgium

3.20 pm           Coffee Break

3.40 pm           « Lessons learned from the financial crisis »
                        Professor Udo Reifner, Director, Institut Für Finanzdienstleistungen, Hamburg University, Germany

4.30 pm           « Cleveland vs Wall Street »
                        A Jean-Stéphane Bron film, 2010 (part.2)

5.20 pm           Debate

5.40 pm           Closing drink

3rd December: « Credit in the crisis, a crisis of credit? »

8.30 am           Welcome

9.00 am           Risks linked to credit? Solvent debtors?

This topic should allows to consider the data bases (their reasons for being, efficiency, the data held on them, registration conditions, compulsory or free registration, persons authorized to consult these data bases or obliged to do so, how long the information is held, … ) as well as other ways of solvency assessment and control and finally the consequences of not assessing the situation.                        

Chairman: Mr René Kalfa, Director, “Verbraucherschutzzentrale Oostbelgien”, lead partner of NEPIM (Network for the Promotion of the Internal Market in European regions through consumer topics), Belgium

 “Assessment of the solvency of the borrowers in times of economic crisis, possible answers”
Mrs Veerle De Schryver, Spokeswoman, Banking Finance and Insurance Commission, Belgium

“Credit assessment – protection of the consumer or of the bank? 
Mr Vagn Jelsoe, Director, Consumer Policy, Consumer Council, Denmark


10.00 am         Who assumes the risk of insolvency of the borrower?       

Who is willing to bear the risk of insolvency of the borrower? What are the different ways to protect the global economy against the insolvency of the borrower and its impact on the lender’s funding (insurances policies taken out by the lender or by the borrower, guarantees, regular assessment of the borrower’s financial position,)?

“Tackling risk: a delicate balance”
Mr Martin Schmalzried, Legal adviser, COFACE (Confederation of Family Organisations in the European Union)
Mr André-Pierre André-Dumont, Lawyer, Philippe & Partners, Belgium.


11.00 am         Coffee break

1.20 am           Dangerous credits? Products to be framed?

Is it necessary or not to regulate credit in general or just certain types of loan and to regulate access to credit for certain categories of borrower or in certain circumstances? Which elements must be taken into consideration in the regulation : costs, authorized types of rates, penalties, advertising, insurances, the link between credit and goods or services funded by it, personal or real guaranties, extra-judicial procedures, repayment conditions, lender’s and borrower’s liability, sanctions against lenders and borrowers duties in case of infraction?               

 “Regulating credit (ors) in Europe – Assessing the need for an EU initiative”
Ms Arianna Mellini Sforza, Adviser Consumer Affairs, European Banking Federation

  "Expensive credit: specific cases, specific controls"
Dr Sarah Brown, School of Law, University of Leeds, United Kingdom


12.20 pm         Lunch

2.00 pm          Mortgages and housing loans - on harmonizing lending products?

This topic allow us to focus specifically on the way the European Commission assesses the opportunity of an harmonized regulation of mortgages and housing loans, as well as debating topics such as access to this credit market, the data bases, the increase of the measures to protect the family’s main house, the products and services linked to the credit, the fixed and variable rates, the intermediaries, the information and advice given to the future borrower, warranties – third party, securitization, … 

Chairman: M Didier Noël, Scientific Coordinator, Observatory Credit and Debt, Belgium

 “Housing and mortgage credit markets : macro-economical approach”
Mr Romain Duvivier, Economist, Observatory Credit and Indebtedness, Belgium.

"Housing loans in Europe: a comparative analysis"
Ms Simona Putzu, Lawyer at the Bar of Rome, Italy, President of the Non Profit Consumer Association of Citizen Consumers in Europe

“Towards a Mortgage Credit Directive – The European approach to mortgage lending regulation”
Mr Marc Rothemund, Legal adviser, Center for European Policy Studies, Belgium

“Responsible lending”
Mr Yves Evenepoel, Actuary, Test-Achats/ Test-Aankoop, consumer’s organization, Belgium


4.00 pm           Closing speech
                          Mr Paul Magnette, Federal Energy and Climate Minister who’s in charge of Consumer Protection, Belgium.

4.35 pm           Reception – Closure drink

Seminar Venue

CEME (Charleroi Espace Meeting Européen)
147, Rue des Français
B-6020 Charleroi

Acces :link

Working languages
Français /English/ Nederlands
A simultaneous translation will be provided

Registration : link
Participation fee : 100 €
Students : 25 €

ID: 46347
Publication date: 22/11/10

Link to ECRC webpage: National Conferences (2010-2011)

Created: 22/11/10. Last changed: 23/11/10.
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