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Observatoire du Crédit et de l’Endettement (OCE) – Belgium

The Observatoire du Crédit et de l’Endettement (OCE) is a non-profit association, active since 1994, in Belgium. The aim of the association is to study the financial services offered to individuals (in particular credit) and over indebtedness, and to prevent over indebtedness. The OCE is recognized as a scientific institution by the Belgian state and as a research, evaluation, training, prevention and information center by the Walloon Region.

In 2024, the non-profit association received funding from the Walloon Region, the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Financial Education Fund from the Fondation Roi Baudouin.

Several missions are carried out by the OCE:

  1. Producing legal, socio-economic and statistical analyses on consumer financial services, consumption, Belgian households’ indebtedness and over indebtedness.
  2. Gathering legal information for professionals about debt, credit, debt recovery and insolvency procedures;
  3. Training of debt mediators (social workers, jurists and lawyers which can be considered as member of debt advice services);
  4. Providing legal advice by e-mail and phone for individuals and professionals about indebtedness.
  5. Organizing campaign and actions to prevent over-indebtedness (developing tools, animations, brochures, taking care of the Walloon website on over-indebtedness information)
  6. Assisting politics for decision making and evaluation of policies in its domain of expertise.
  7. Organizing colloquiums, thematic roundtables and webinars to share its expertise.

Two particularities have to be highlighted:

  • The composition of the OCE’s council of administration is designed to ensure the objectivity of its studies and actions. Creditors, National Bank of Belgium, the debt mediation sector, consumer associations and the Walloon Region are all represented.
  • The multidisciplinary nature of the team (an economist, a sociologist, legal experts and prevention officers) allows for cross-analysis of subjects that are often dealt with in isolation elsewhere.


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