mars 22, 2023


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KBC accounts to move to Bank of Ireland by end of 2022

KBC clients are likely to see the mortgage transfer to the Bank of Ireland in late 2022 with the process complete by December next year.

Les Plachik, chief executive of the Irish arm of the Belgian banking group, told the Oireachtas committee that the transfer should take place in the fourth quarter of 2022, pending the expected completion of the CCP investigation in the first half of next year.

Notice to the mortgage borrower will be given at least 60 days before the transfer is made, but KBC checking account holders will have to make the transfer themselves, if they wish.

All account holders will need to download and register with the Bank of Ireland app themselves.

KBC – which confirmed in October it would sell the €8.8bn lead mortgage book and hand over €4.4bn in deposits to the Bank of Ireland – said it would not complete its exit from the market until all the tracked mortgage cases pending in the courts were resolved.

« Any exit will be carried out in an orderly and responsible manner, with full respect for all of our commitments, » Mr. Blajic told TDs and senators on Wednesday.

“We will not leave until we have settled all the obligations related to the tracked mortgages that we have. We will honor all our obligations. We will fulfill our obligations until the last minute.”

A record 18 million euros fine was imposed on KBC last year for what the Central Bank of Ireland described as « serious failures » of 3,741 tracked mortgage clients, including a « significant price increase » and the recall of 66 properties.

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Blaczek, who took over as CEO earlier this year, said the scandal was a « very unfortunate event » and he again apologized for the bank’s actions.

He told Oireachtas’ joint financing committee that the bank will settle 27 mortgage cases pending in the courts before fully exiting the market.

« Our exit from the Irish market will not be considered complete until we do it right by all of them, » he said.

The bank has already corrected the accounts of about 3,785 clients, according to the head of risk management, Barry Darcy.

Blažek TDs warned that other banks are unlikely to enter the market here in their wake.

KBC has faced « very significant challenges » in making profits in Ireland due to high capital requirements, small market size and the global trend away from retail banks towards fintech companies.

It is driven by a number of factors. It’s competition in the Irish market. They are also some of the aspects of the higher capital requirements for the assets we have to hold in Ireland. But it’s also, as I mentioned, indicative of the structural changes that are taking place in other markets and in Ireland as well. »

Mr Blažek insisted that customers in Ireland had « an abundance of options » due to fintech applications and other non-banking products.

KBC also signed a deal this summer to sell nearly €1.1 billion of Irish non-performing loans to US-based CarVal Investors.

Mr Plachik said he had « no reason to believe that customers in general would be in a worse situation than they are » with KBC.

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Meanwhile, the Financial Services Federation (FSU) responded to comments made by Mr Blajek saying that it would prefer to deal directly with bank employees rather than unions, the Labor Relations Commission (WRC) and the labor court.

“If the current system had been so beneficial to employees, hundreds of KBC employees would not have joined FSU,” said FSU Secretary General John O’Connell.

KBC has refused to attend both the WRC and the Labor Court in the past. I hope the new CEO will stick to his word that employee welfare and representation are important and agree to attend labor court if asked. »

KBC Group, the parent company of the bank, announced a profit of 601 million euros for the third quarter of this year, including a loss of 319 million euros on its Irish arm due to the sale of the Bank of Ireland.

The group said in a statement on its third-quarter results, that the loss includes a one-time impairment charge of 170 million euros and 81 million euros in staff costs, in addition to a one-time loss of 13 million euros related to the mortgage review.

The group expects to recoup around €200 million of its Irish losses once the Bank of Ireland deals close.