Because the amount of information available for each country varied widely, the presentations for each country differ in format and content. Bank failures are listed in chronological order. Where possible, background information is given in the introductory comments. Because bank failures in the United States are examined extensively in the literature, only selected failures are presented in this book. This is the first of two chapters containing country analysis. The countries covered in this chapter include: Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, and Italy; the remaining G-10 countries are covered in the next chapter.
Bank failures are not common in Belgium. Banque pour l’Amerique du Sud, which failed in 1976, was the first bank to fail since banking reforms were instituted in Belgium in 1935. This small bank was a subsidiary of an Argentine family-owned group. It failed under ‘‘mysterious circumstances.’’ Two other small banks failed in the 1970s; both failures involved fraud (Goodhart, 1995, 374–376).