Minister Donohoe responds to announcement by KBC and Bank of Ireland

16th April, 2021

The Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD, has said, in reaction to the KBC Ireland’s announcement this morning (Friday), that the decision taken by the bank to leave the Irish market is regrettable, particularly as it comes so soon after NatWest’s decision to withdraw Ulster Bank Ireland DAC from the Irish banking sector.


KBC first entered the Irish market in 1978 through the majority acquisition of Irish Intercontinental Bank. 


The Minister noted the announcement states that a Memorandum of Understanding has been agreed between KBC and Bank of Ireland, which covers substantially all of KBC’s performing loan assets and liabilities and that KBC is reviewing its options to divest its remaining non-performing mortgage loan book.

Speaking following the announcement, Minister Donohoe said: ‘The decision announced by KBC is a very significant event for the Irish banking sector, its staff and customers.  Our thoughts immediately turn to KBC’s staff and the impact of this decision for them.


“The news that discussions have commenced with Bank of Ireland regarding substantially all of the performing loan assets and liabilities is welcome.  It is my hope that these negotiations are concluded quickly and prioritise the continuation of financial services for these customers and the preservation of jobs.


“Neither the Government nor I have any role in decisions such as these which are a matter for the relevant banks and their independent boards.


“Robust consumer protections are in place in the event of a bank withdrawing from the Irish market, including the Central Bank’s Codes of Conduct and that the terms of any contract currently in place with KBC remains in place into the future.”