KBC freezes final 143 Irish current accounts as last services end

Belgian-owned bank also closes its remaining branch and ends its online banking on Thursday

KBC Bank Ireland froze its final 143 customer current accounts and closed its remaining Dublin retail hub and online services on Thursday as part of its retreat from the Irish market.

The Belgian-owned bank said that more than 99 per cent of the current accounts it had in May last year, when it started an extensive process of pushing customers to find alternative homes for their current accounts, had been closed or blocked before the last batch.

At the start of the process KBC Bank Ireland estimated that 52,000 of its 130,000 current account holders needed to find to a new provider. Its remaining €1.8 billion deposits book moved to Bank of Ireland earlier this year as part of a broader deal that also included €7.8 billion of performing mortgages.

The bank closed the doors of its last remaining branch, or so-called Grand Canal Dublin Hub, in the south docklands and ended its online banking and app services on Thursday.


However, customers can continue to contact the bank’s customer support team on its phone helpline, which continues to operate for the time being.

“A limited number of assets and liabilities remain on the KBC Bank Ireland balance sheet, and we are in the process of resolving these items,” said a spokeswoman for the bank, who declined to say when the bank would hand back its licence.

The bank, which had about 1,400 employees when it announced in April 2021 that it was looking to exit the Irish market, will continue a redundancy process over 2023 and into 2024 on a phased basis, the spokeswoman said.

“The process is designed to facilitate an orderly wind-down of KBC Bank Ireland with a continued focus on staff welfare and the provision of ongoing customer support,” she said.

Fewer than 50 of the 650 bank employees that were eligible to transfer to Bank of Ireland as part of the loans sale took up that offer, executives from both lenders previously said.

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan is Markets Correspondent of The Irish Times