European Commission - Press release
State aid: Commission temporarily approves guarantees on the refinancing of Dexia and DCL and opens in-depth investigation
Brussels, 21 December 2011 – The European Commission has temporarily authorised, under the EU state aid rules, a temporary guarantee on the refinancing of Dexia SA and its subsidiary Dexia Crédit Local (DCL), for a maximum capital value of €45 billion. This temporary guarantee, extended by Belgium (60.5%), France (36.5%) and Luxembourg (3%), is joint and non-several. It covers the bank refinancing measures with a maturity of a maximum of three years, and was issued until 31 May 2012. The purpose of the guarantee is to enable the bank to draw up a restructuring plan, or – should Dexia SA prove not to be viable – a liquidation plan, which the three Member States undertake to submit to the Commission within three months from today.
The Commission considers that the guarantee mechanism is necessary in order to preserve the financial stability of the Member States concerned, given the systemic importance of Dexia SA. It does, however, have doubts at this stage as to whether the temporary guarantee measure is compatible with the single market, especially since the new aid comes in addition to the aid already approved as part of the restructuring plan authorised by the Commission on 26 February 2010. The Commission will take a final decision on the temporary guarantee as part of its assessment of the restructuring plan.
In 2008/2009 Dexia SA had already received substantial amounts of aid from France, Belgium and Luxembourg in the form of a recapitalisation and guarantees on its refinancing and impaired assets. This aid, which formed part of a restructuring plan to be completed by the end of 2014, was approved by the Commission on 26 February 2010 (see IP/10/201).
The restructuring plan enabled Dexia SA to enhance the stability of its financing sources and reduce its leverage and its portfolio of non-strategic assets. However, the bank has fallen behind with the implementation of this plan and the imbalance in its financing sources has worsened again since last summer.
The temporary guarantees for the refinancing of Dexia SA and DCL mark a significant change compared with the conditions on which the restructuring plan and the associated commitments and conditions were approved by the Commission in February 2010. A re-examination of the restructuring of Dexia, with the submission of a new restructuring or liquidation plan, is therefore needed. The Commission will reassess the temporary refinancing guarantee as a structural measure as part of its examination of the restructuring plan or liquidation plan to be presented by the Member States concerned.
The temporary guarantee forms part of a package of additional restructuring measures planned by Belgium, France and Luxembourg which might potentially constitute state aid. Like the purchase of Dexia Banque Belgique by the Belgian State (see IP/11/1203), the temporary refinancing guarantees cannot be viewed in isolation from this package, which must be examined by the Commission before it takes effect.
Dexia SA was formed in 1996 by the merger of Crédit Local de France and Crédit communal de Belgique. Dexia is organised around a parent holding company with three operational entities located in France (DCL), Belgium (DBB) and Luxembourg (Dexia BIL).
The restructuring plan approved by the Commission in February 2010 aimed to refocus Dexia SA’s activities on its principal markets, reduce its risk profile and leverage, and restore balance in its liquidity profile (see Case C9/2009). The assistance provided to Dexia SA in 2008/2009 consisted of a recapitalisation of a total amount of €6 billion, €5.2 billion of which was deemed to be state aid from the Belgian and French states; a guarantee from the Belgian and French states on a portfolio of impaired assets, for which the aid element was evaluated at €3.2 billion; a joint guarantee by Belgium, France and Luxembourg for the refinancing of the group by a maximum amount of €135 billion (this figure also includes a guarantee from the Belgian State for emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) operations, granted to Dexia by the National Bank of Belgium).
The non-confidential version of today's decision will be made available under case numbers SA.33760, SA.33762 and SA.33764 in the State Aid Register on DG Competition's website, once any confidentiality issues have been resolved. New publications of state aid decisions on the Internet and in the Official Journal are listed in the "State aid Weekly e-News"