Optima execs tried to remove cash from failing bank

The financial daily De Tijd has established that members of the Optima bank that went bankrupt on Wednesday scrambled to remove funds from bank accounts after Belgium's central bank made it clear that Optima was losing its licence.

It was last week Tuesday that it emerged that Optima was losing its licence to trade. Stefaan Michielsen of De Tijd told VRT: "It appears that that very evening executives carried out operations on their accounts and woke up certain clients encouraging them to remove funds."

Belgium's central bank, Nationale Bank, was able to catch out the executives because it had installed a surveillance system. It remains unclear how many people and how much cash was involved. Efforts to remove cash from the online bank's accounts were reason enough for Nationale Bank to block all the bank's accounts the following day.