Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance Michael McGrath has welcomed the decision by KBC Bank to commit to providing banking services in the Irish market into the future.

“Not only does today’s news come as a relief to around 1,000 employees of KBC Bank, it is also very positive news for Irish consumers. The Irish banking market could have ill afforded the loss of another market player. KBC Bank provides vital competition to the pillar banks of AIB and Bank of Ireland, and also to Ulster Bank and Permanent TSB. Hopefully KBC’s renewed commitment to Ireland will actually help to stiffen competition in the marketplace for the benefit of consumers.

“The CEO’s commitment to continue to invest in Ireland is especially welcome. KBC’s recent financial reports suggest that their Irish operation is significantly profitable, and that they continue to increase their number of customers. The announcement of mortgage rate cuts by KBC last October means the bank is well placed to benefit from the increasing number of mortgage applications in Ireland and the bank’s commitment to SMEs is welcome news.

“I note that the bank’s CEO has confirmed that the bank has some customers affected by the tracker mortgage scandal. KBC needs to ensure that all customers who were wrongly denied a tracker mortgage rate or who were put on the wrong rate are looked after as a priority. As a member of the Oireachtas Finance Committee, I know the Committee will be revisiting this issue very shortly to see what progress has been made by KBC and all the other banks,” concluded McGrath.