Mortgage lending at KBC Ireland rose in first quarter

Bank is exploring exit from Irish market

A KBC Bank branch in Dublin city centre. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

A KBC Bank branch in Dublin city centre. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

 

KBC Ireland said demand for mortgages increased in the first three months of the year, with new lending up 54 per cent to €296 million.

The bank, which is currently exploring an exit from the Irish market, said net profit was €8 million after tax and impairments in the quarter ended March 31st.

KBC Ireland reduced its impaired loan stock by €43 million, a 3 per cent reduction to bring it to €1.39 billion, some 13 per cent of its portfolio.

The bank saw its share of new mortgage lending market increase to 13.8 per cent in the first quarter of the year, while the number of current accounts opened at the bank rose 2 per cent, or 9,600.

Last month, it emerged KBC Group was in advanced talks to sell its performing loans and deposits to Bank of Ireland, quitting the Irish market after four decades and reducing the number of retail banks in the country to just three.

“While the discussions with Bank of Ireland are ongoing, we remain fully committed to offering quality retail banking, investment and insurance services and there is no immediate impact for customers,” said chief executive of KBC Ireland Peter Roebben. “We are fully conscious of our responsibilities to our customers and colleagues, and we will provide material updates as the process develops.”

The wider KBC Group ended the first quarter of 2021 with a net profit of €557 million.