Financial services company ING Belgium has scrapped its film financing activities to concentrate on its core business.

ING was the first major bank to get involved in with Belgium’s tax shelter for film financing and it has invested in close to 60 Belgian film productions, including the Dardenne brothers’ 2008 Cannes entry, Le Silence De Lorna and Tomm Moore’s The Secret Of Kells.

Its decision to move into film financing convinced rival banks, including Fortis and Dexia, to follow suit.

Local producers remain confident the tax shelter system - due to be renewed by the end of the year - will be retained.

Peter Bouckaert, head of film production at Eyeworks Film & TV Drama and a leading industry spokesman, said: “It (the tax shelter system) has been vital to the (film) industry,”

He acknowledged that ING has become a key player in Belgian film financing. “It is a pity that they (ING) have fallen away,” he said but added that there was no sign that other banks were about to quit the film financing arena.