KBC appoints insider Frank Jansen to oversee Irish exit

Company sold €9bn of its performing loans to Bank of Ireland

KBC Group has appointed the chief financial and product officer of KBC Bank Ireland, Frank Jansen, as the new chief executive of the Irish unit as it retreats from the market.

He succeeds Ales Blazek, who was appointed to the top job in Ireland last year, weeks before the Belgian company announced that it was planning to exit the Republic with a sale of its €9 billion of performing loans to Bank of Ireland. KBC said in March that Mr Blazek was moving on to head up the group's Czech business.

"On behalf of the board of directors of KBC Bank Ireland, I would like to sincerely thank Ales Blazek for his leadership and contribution as chief executive officer of KBC Bank Ireland at a crucial moment in its history over the last year," said Peter Andronov, chairman of KBC Bank Ireland.

He added that Mr Jansen knew the Irish unit “well and understands the business and the strategic challenge ahead to ensure both the smooth execution of the legally binding agreement with Bank of Ireland Group and KBC’s orderly exit from the Irish market”.