KBC Bank Ireland has announced that it is looking to exit the Irish market and is in talks with Bank of Ireland to sell its performing loans and liabilities.
It has entered a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bank of Ireland.
It also said that its remaining non-performing mortgage loan portfolio, which is not part of the MoU, is currently being analysed, whereby KBC Group is reviewing its options to divest this non-performing loan portfolio.
“Execution of these two transactions would ultimately result in KBC Group’s withdrawal from the Irish market,” KBC said.
“While these discussions are ongoing, KBC Bank Ireland remains committed to offering its retail banking and insurance services of the highest level through its digital channels and hubs for its existing and new customers.
Execution of these two transactions would ultimately result in KBC Group’s withdrawal from the Irish market
“There is no impact on KBC Bank Ireland customers’ products or services and they do not need to take any action as a result of this announcement,” it said.
KBC holds 12.6% of the Irish mortgage market and has 1,400 employees. KBC Group ended 2020 with a net profit of €1.4bn.
However, KBC Ireland reported a loss of €48m at year end.
KBC Bank Ireland CEO Peter Roebben said it remains committed to offering its retail banking and insurance services.
“For the time being, nothing changes, neither for existing nor for new customers. Our customers do not need to take any action as a result of today’s announcement,” he said.
‘A good home’
Group CEO of Bank of Ireland Francesca McDonagh said: “When we look at opportunities, we consider if they are a good fit for the customers involved and for the bank.
“This MoU complements our strategy to grow our business in Ireland, and supports the investments we are making in the transformation of our systems and digital banking services.
“We would be very pleased to provide KBC Ireland customers with a good home, and look forward to progressing our discussions with KBC over the coming period,” she said.
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said that the decision taken by the bank to leave the Irish market is regrettable, particularly as it comes so soon after NatWest’s decision to withdraw Ulster Bank Ireland DAC from the Irish banking sector.
In March, Ulster Bank announced it is exiting the Irish market.