Government-Owned Bank Begs Customers To Borrow Cash
yes folks,Hello Helicopter Money… the first showers of free cash are beginning to fall in Europe…
by Secular Investor We have already reported back to you several times on how desperate the European Central Bank seems to be in its attempts to get the money circulation in the Eurozone going again. Unfortunately all of its previous ‘ideas’ didn’t really work out too well, and the ECB just continues to cut its most important interest rates to discourage the banks to deposit cash at the ECB in overnight deposits.
Nice theories don’t always work in the real world, and the idea of negative interest rates definitely didn’t help at all. But then, the ECB’s recent statements contained some interesting surprises. During the Q&A session with journalists, Mario Draghi confirmed ‘ helicopter money ’ is a real thing, and just one week later, one of the main board members of the ECB was quoted in an Italian newspaper saying helicopter money is interesting (and cannot be ruled out).
That would be quite unique, and we were very intrigued when we got our hands on a letter from a Belgian bank to an existing (business) client. In that letter, the bank offered the client an immediate credit facility of 3,750 EUR (which could immediately be expanded to 10,000 EUR upon request).
The most intriguing part is that this bank is 100% government-owned, and that the client has never applied for a loan, nor does he need one. In fact, the company is perfectly healthy, has no net debt but a net cash position on the balance sheet, but still was offered to borrow money without any installment fees whatsoever. The business owner also confirmed to us he has been client at a larger non-government bank for a much longer period of time but has never ever even received just a request to find out what his capital needs are.
Source: letter provided to us, in Dutch.
Was this a publicity stunt? No. Included in the letter was a SIGNED CONTRACT by the bank’s credit department, stating the credit facility HAS ALREADY BEEN OPENED (the highlighted part in yellow states ‘this proposal will automatically turn into a contract from April 15 on’) and no further action was required. In fact, there was an accompanying letter promoting another credit facility of up to 22.5M EUR (keep in mind the business we’re talking about has a total annual revenue of less than half a million US Dollar) which could be made available upon a second check and after paying a 2,500 EUR installment fee. That’s right, a bank was proposing a substantial line of credit with an installment fee of 0.01% of the total amount that would be borrowed.
We don’t like to use the term ‘ helicopter money ’ loosely but in this case it certainly looks like this (again; government-owned) bank has gone in overdrive to force credit lines down people’s and company’s throats. Giving away credit lines with no end date looks pretty much like a ‘please borrow some money from us’ type of thing. And we have saved the best for last. Belfius Bank is nothing less but the nationalized part of Dexia, the bank that collapsed during the Global Financial Crisis and was nationalized in 2011 after more shit has hit the fan, and the cost to insure against a default of this bank more than hundredfolded.