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News : Irish Last Updated: Apr 24, 2009 - 5:31:05 PM

IIB Bank rebranded as KBC Bank Ireland; Opts out of Irish State banking guarantee scheme following €3.5 billion capital injection by Belgian government into parent bank
By Finfacts Team
Oct 30, 2008 - 4:32:03 PM

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KBC Bank Ireland Chief Executive Ted Marah

IIB Bank plc has today officially renamed and rebranded its operations in Ireland to KBC Bank Ireland plc. The move by the bank which is 100% owned by Belgian parent KBC Bank NV will see closer alignment of the bank within the group's global network. KBC Bank Ireland has said that, following a €3.5 billion injection of capital by the Belgian government into its parent bank on Monday, the bank has opted not to sign up to the Irish State banking guarantee scheme.

Speaking at the announcement KBC Bank Ireland Chief Executive, Ted Marah said, "The name change from IIB Bank to KBC Bank Ireland plc represents a new and very exciting phase in the IIB and KBC relationship which commenced in 1978. The move will further strengthen the group's position in Ireland and will allow us to further leverage off KBC Groups strength and global reach to meet the needs of our business and personal clients."

Guido Segers, KBC Bank Ireland Chairman said, "KBC Bank is a leading global bank and employs approximately 700 people in Ireland. The branding move is recognition of KBC Group's confidence in its operations here, in the Irish economy and in the resilience of Irish business. We see this move as a significant milestone in our presence in Ireland in terms of the future growth of our businesses here and the opportunities for Irish business through KBC's global network."

Marah added, "KBC Bank Ireland is very aligned to the successful business approach of KBC globally. In Ireland, our success is founded on the strong relationships built with our customers and business partners and having dedicated and professional staff committed to growing and developing those relationships. This winning formula will allow us to continue to build KBC's business in Ireland".

In concluding he said, "As a global operator, KBC's range of products and services, geographic distribution and global brand recognition will assist further growth. The new brand change undoubtedly broadens the scope of our operations in Ireland and adds emphasis to our core message 'Local Knowledge, Global Reach'. Most importantly we are now in a position to more clearly demonstrate this and the benefits of our global parentage."

KBC Bank Ireland has become the second foreign-owned bank to opt out of the State guarantee scheme after Halifax-Bank of Scotland (HBOS) Ireland, said on Tuesday, it would maintain "a competitive edge" by staying outside the scheme.

KBC said it had chosen not to join "in the light of KBC's strong liquidity and capital position, the further strengthening of this position through the agreement with the Belgian government and after having fully considered the terms and conditions of the Irish scheme". The decision was made by the Irish bank in consultation with its parent based in Brussels.

The bank said it was grateful to Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan for opening the scheme up to the bank and acknowledged "the positive effect the scheme's establishment had on the stability of the financial system".

It said that the €3.5 billion capital injection into KBC in Belgium had pushed the bank's tier-one capital ratio - a key measure of a bank's financial ability to absorb future losses - to 10.7 per cent placing it "among the best-capitalised banks  Europe".

Ted Marah said KBC in Belgium was a "very healthy and strong bank" and the bank felt this was adequate for Irish customers.

KBC is the fifth-largest mortgage lender in Ireland, selling about 90 per cent of its property loans through mortgage brokers. The bank has loans of about €19 billion, split 60:40 between personal and business customers.

About 10 per cent of the loan book is secured on commercial property and development.

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