KBC Bank Ireland on track to return to full-year profitability

Irish unit reports €25m after tax profit versus €14m loss for same quarter last year

A trader works on the trading floor of KBC bank in Brussels

A trader works on the trading floor of KBC bank in Brussels

 

KBC Bank Ireland said it remains on track to return to full-year profitability by 2016 after reporting a third quarter profit after tax and impairment charges of €25 million.

This compares to a €14 million loss for the corresponding quarter a year earlier.

KBC Group meanwhile recorded a net profit of€600 million in the third quarter, helped by a sharp fall in loan losses, particularly at its Irish unit. Net profit was somewhat lower than the €600 million recorded in the previous quarter and the €608 million reported for the same three-month period in 2014.

Loan losses declined by 41 per cent across the group in the first nine months of the year with the improvement most pronounced in Ireland, where losses were €125 million lower than the same nine month period a year earlier.

KBC Bank Ireland reported loan impairment charges of €9 million for Ireland in the third quarter as against €47 million for the corresponding quarter in 2014. Impairment charges were down €7 million i versus the previous quarter.

The Irish unit recorded a 20 per cent reduction in the number of mortgage arrear cases in the first nine months of the year, following a 15 per cent decline in 2014.

The group noted a sharp increase in customer deposits in Ireland, up 4 per cent on the third quarter in 2014 with 59,000 new accounts added in the first nine months of the year.

KBC said retail and corporate deposits not stand at €5 billion, up €0.2 billion over the last quarter.

“We adopted a strategy three years ago to become Ireland’s newest retail bank with a full suite of competitive products and a clear focus on digital distribution channels supported by a light physical network. We are extremely pleased to see that our strategy is working, and with the significant progress we have made. The strong response from customers is testament to that, and evident across all channels and product segments, from current accounts and deposits, to mortgages, investments and insurance,” said KBC Bank Ireland chief executive Wim Verbraeken.

KBC Bank Ireland employs over 1,069 people in Ireland with retail banking hubs in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Kildare, Waterford, Wicklow and Kilkenny.