KBC Bank Ireland has started to close current accounts after a six-day notice period for an initial wave of customers came to an end on Thursday, with the exiting bank focusing for now on accounts with “limited or no activity”, a spokeswoman for the bank said.
Some 2,900 accounts were closed in the first round, she said, adding that the account closure process is expected to continue in monthly cycles until August 2023.
“KBC Bank Ireland closed its first set of accounts on December 1st, 2022. The first wave of account closures relates to inactive current accounts only (accounts which had limited or no activity) and follows a series of communications with account holders over a six-month period,” she said.
Unlike Ulster Bank, which is forcing current and deposit account customers to find new homes for their banking, KBC Bank Ireland has agreed to sell its deposit book to Bank of Ireland as part of a wider deal, also involving its €9 billion of performing loans.
Bank of Ireland and KBC said on Friday that Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has approved that transaction, the final clearance needed for it to progress. The transfer of loans and deposits is on track to be completed by the end of next March.
Earlier this year, KBC estimated that 52,000 of its 130,000 current account holders not part of the Bank of Ireland transaction would need to open a new account or move to a new provider. The figure has since fallen by 32 per cent to 35,400, as many customers of the bank have taken action to move their accounts elsewhere.
Meanwhile, the KBC spokeswoman said that 65 per cent of the company’s current account customers have been served with six-months’ notice to close accounts. It will continue to issue notice to remaining account holders into the first quarter of next year, she said.
“KBC has also advised customers that if they are having difficulty opening a new current account, that the bank will be able to extend their closure notice, providing them with additional time to find a new current account provider,” she said.
“KBC has a dedicated care team to support vulnerable customers through the current account closure process.”
Ulster Bank started freezing inactive and low-use accounts early last month.