KBC Bank Ireland doubles profit in first quarter

KBC Bank Ireland has more than doubled its profit in the first quarter of its financial year, rising to €34.2 from €16.2m when compared with the same period last year.

In the three month period to the end of March, the bank added 16,800 with current accounts continuing to drive new customer acquisitions.

The firm said it has strong momentum in reducing the number of mortgage arrears cases, while groupwide KBC posted a profit of €392m.

KBC’s groupwide profits were hit significantly after it filed a net profit of €862m in the last quarter of 2015 and €510m in the first quarter of last year. KBC Bank Ireland reported a €16.2m profit in the first quarter of 2015.

KBC Bank Ireland chief executive Wim Verbraeken said the company is pleased to start the financial year on a strong footing.

“Looking ahead, our focus remains firmly on growing our retail business by offering customers a quality banking experience that is intuitive to their needs. KBC will do so while working closely with customers in financial difficulties to try and reach suitable, sustainable resolutions.

Earlier in the week KBC announced several new variable lending rates for new mortgage customers, as well as reduced fixed rates for new and existing customers on two, three, and five year products.

KBC said its deposit base in both its retail and corporate businesses grew to €5.4bn from €5.1bn at the end of 2015.

Mr Verbraeken went on to explain the company’s €100m investment in digital avenues and other areas.

“We are investing over €100 million in our digital channels, banking systems and physical channels and our priority now is to further progress our vision for modern banking and to deliver on our ambition to become the bank of choice for customers in Ireland.

“That means continued investment in our digital channels, ensuring that our physical locations connect with customers and communities, and that our product range leads the way in competitiveness and innovation.”

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