Frequently Asked Questions about cooperative shares of BRS

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Where is my money invested?

The value of your share goes entirely to the operation of BRS Microfinance Coop. We invest it in the microfinance institutions in the South with which we work. In turn, they use these resources to offer microcredit to entrepreneurial people in the region in which they operate. 

These institutions are carefully selected by objective specialists who regularly visit locally. For this, we work together with Incofin IM. They draw up an opinion that the Investment Committee uses to take a sound decision. The Investment Committee consists of professionals from KBC, Cera and BRS. Together, they have significant expertise in the financial world, the operation of cooperatives and the social challenges facing the South. 

We opt for organisations that are financially strong, but the social impact is also essential in our decision-making process. In short, we want to create as much impact as possible with the resources at our disposal - and to do so in a well thought-out, safe way. 

Of course, we also closely monitor the functioning and social and financial performance of our partners. Monthly reports help us keep close track of things, but there is also follow-up in the field. 

Follow the path your money takes here.

What financial returns can I expect?

As BRS Microfinance Coop is a certified development fund, you enjoy a one-off tax rebate of 5% on your investment if you retain your share for at least five years.  

You may also benefit from a limited dividend. First and foremost, BRS Microfinance Coop strives for a social return. This may have a restrictive influence on the financial return. The dividend may vary from year to year. It may also be proposed not to pay a dividend. 

BRS Microfinance Coop did not pay out a dividend up to and including the 2016 financial year. The dividend for the 2017 financial year was 0.5%, while for the 2018 financial year, it was 0.75%. No dividend was paid in 2019 and 2020.  BRS Microfinance Coop intends to continue to propose a modest dividend to the General Meeting on an annual basis.

To which account is the dividend paid?

The dividend is paid into a current or savings account at KBC Bank/KBC Brussels/CBC Banque or another Belgian financial institution. This account must be in the name of the member or that of his/her legal representative. A joint account may be provided for married partners. 

The member undertakes to notify BRS of any change to his/her account via his/her KBC/KBC Brussels/CBC branch. BRS is not liable for the consequences of the member’s non-compliance with the above-mentioned obligation. 

Unclaimed dividends expire after five years and accrue to BRS. 
If the company’s assets are insufficient to pay out the members in accordance with Article 6 of the Articles of Association, payment is made on a pro rata basis.

 
Are the shares transferable?
No.  
The A-shares are not transferable, either inter vivos or upon death.
 
When may I withdraw A-shares of BRS Microfinance Coop?

In accordance with the provisions of the Companies Code, members may voluntarily withdraw shares during the first six months of each financial year (between 1 January and 30 June). 

In a number of cases set out in the Articles of Association, the statutory manager may suspend members’ withdrawal requests or refuse voluntary withdrawals. 

 
Can the shares of a minor member be withdrawn?

Yes, this is possible, but the legal representative of a minor member needs authorisation from the Justice of the Peace when requesting withdrawal.

What happens when a member dies?

The shareholding will automatically end. 
The heirs will receive the reimbursement of no more than the nominal capital of EUR 50 per share. The dividend (on the A-shares) is calculated pro rata until the date of death. 


How can I participate in the General Meeting of BRS MF Coop?

The shareholders receive a personal invitation to the General Meeting.

What should I do if I have a complaint?
In case of complaints, you can contact the complaints management of BRS Microfinance Coop, Muntstraat 1, 3000 Leuven or invest.brs@brs.coop.  
In addition, you can contact the ombudsman for financial disputes, a qualified entity within the meaning of the Code of Economic Law: Ombudsfin, Belliardstraat 15-17 bus 8, 1040 Brussels, tel. 02 545 77 70, ombudsman@ombudsfin.be, www.ombudsfin.be
 
As BRS Microfinance Coop is a certified development fund, I am entitled to a 5% tax rebate if I retain the shares for at least five years. How does that work?

If you invest in a certified development fund such as BRS Microfinance Coop as a private individual, and meet the conditions stipulated by law, you can get a tax rebate of 5% on your investment. Each year you can indicate your new investments on your tax return (provided you are liable for tax in Belgium). 

BRS Microfinance Coop will make sure you always receive your certificate for your tax return in good time. For example, if you subscribe to the maximum number of (10) A-shares of BRS Microfinance Coop, you are entitled to a tax rebate of EUR 250 (5% of EUR 5,000). The tax rebate is granted once in the year of payment. If you do not hold your shares for an uninterrupted period of five years, the tax rebate received will be partially withdrawn (in the amount of the number of months between the transfer of the A-shares and the end of the 60-month period).

 
What are the risks associated with A-shares of BRS Microfinance Coop?

Investing in shares involves risks. As a subscriber, you run the risk of losing some or all of the invested capital. Please read the Essential Information Document (EID), the information sheet, the Annual Report and the investment policy in advance, with particular attention to the risk factors.  

BRS Microfinance Coop is subject to, among other things, market risk, concentration risk, debtor risk, country risk, exchange-rate risk, interest-rate risk, liquidity risk, etc. Moreover, withdrawals may also have a significant impact on the cash flows of BRS Microfinance Coop.  

How can you withdraw as a member?

Each member may submit his/her request for withdrawal to his/her KBC/CBC branch or via KBC-Live (this also applies to members who are not customers of KBC/CBC).

Is there an end date for a cooperative BRS share?
The shares are cooperative shares. There is no end date on them.

The shareholder may decide to withdraw by announcing this in the first half of the year. A definite withdrawal will then follow the General Meeting for that financial year.