Thursday, May 30, 2024

KBC to hand back its Irish bank licence

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KBC Bank is one of two banks to leave the Irish market. Photo: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

KBC Bank Ireland will return its banking licence to the Central Bank of Ireland on April 30th, formalising its long flagged exit from the market here.

The licence is being surrendered following approvals obtained from the Central Bank of Ireland and the ECB.

The Belgium headquartered bank’s remaining entity here has been renamed Exicon DAC. The bank’s Belgian parent remains a fully licenced bank.

In a statement the group said KBC Bank NV Dublin Branch staff will continue to be available to support any queries from customers, who retain their legal and regulatory protections.

“KBC Bank Ireland wishes to sincerely thank its customers and stakeholders for their trust over the

past decades and express its deep gratitude to all KBC Bank Ireland employees who have

maintained the highest of standards in their work, providing continued support to customers and

to each other while preparing the orderly exit.”

The vast bulk of KBC Bank Ireland’s business has been sold or transferred to Bank of Ireland under a deal that was agreed in October 2021 and completed last year.

Bank of Ireland gained around 150,000 KBC customers from the deal.

Following the deal with Bank of Ireland, In May last year KBC agreed to transfer any remaining accounts and servicing activity of KBC Bank Ireland to KBC Bank NV Dublin Branch which is licenced in Belgium and is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland for conduct of business rules.

That transfer includes any unidentified and identified residual customer or regulatory claims or liabilities of the former Irish bank.

The bank said last year it intended to give its shareholders all of the estimated €1bn to be taken out of Ireland once its operation here is completely would down.

The exit of KBC and rival Ulster Bank from the Irish market has hit competition and boosted profits at remaining lenders AIB, Bank of Ireland and PTSB. Ironically KBC confirmed the date of its bank licence handing back on the same day Spain’s Bankinter confirmed plans to launch a digital bank here.

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