KBC records €32m profit in Ireland over three months

KBC Bank has recorded a profit of €32m in Ireland in its third quarter, according to a trading update from the group.

Operating profit at the Irish unit was €23.4m before tax.

This is a considerable swing on the €1m loss recorded in the same period last year, when the bank set aside a €54m provision for costs associated with the tracker mortgage scandal.

The bank, which has reached an agreement with Goldman Sachs to sell part of its legacy loan portfolio in Ireland, said that it benefitted from an €8m release of loan loss impairments, mainly in Ireland.

New mortgage lending in the third quarter was over €240m bringing lending to €662m in the first nine months of 2018.

In the nine months to 30 September the bank reported a profit of €144m in respect of Ireland.

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The net loan loss releases in Ireland were €15m during the quarter, down from €39m in the previous quarter.

The net result for the business as a whole for the third quarter was a profit of €701m, while for the first nine months of the year KBC group reported a profit of €1.9bn, down from €2.2bn in the same period in 2017.

“We delivered a net profit of €701m in the third quarter of 2018,” Johan Thijs, chief executive of KBC Bank, said.

“An excellent result, thanks, among other things, to higher levels of net interest income, trading and fair value income and other net income, an outstanding combined ratio in our non-life insurance activities, and – yet again – a net release of some loan loss impairments, the bulk of which related to our Irish mortgage book.”

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