KBC reports strong Irish growth

It added almost 17,000 new customers during the first three months of 2017

KBC reports strong Irish growth

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KBC has had a strong start to 2017 - internationally it gained a net profit of €630m during its first quarter.

That was almost 40% higher than the €392m profit registered for the same period 12 months ago, but it was slightly less than the €685m profit gained in the final quarter of 2016.

Its Irish operation generated a €70.4m profit after tax and impairments - that's up from €34.2m 12 months ago.

It added almost 17,000 new customer accounts during the quarter.

Following the launch of Apple Pay and Android Pay, the bank has reported an 83% increase in digital activity during the past year.

Its stock of impaired loans fell by 16% to €5.4bn - down from €6.4bn in the first quarter of 2016.

Commenting on the financial results, Wim Verbraeken, Chief Executive of KBC Bank Ireland, said: "I am pleased to report strong profitability across all areas of the business. As a core market in the KBC Group, we have already established our Innovation Hub and embarked on our digital-first customer-centric strategy.

He highlighted the bank's focus on attracting more customers through its digital offerings: "KBC Ireland is paving the way to being the frontrunner in the digital transformation of the KBC Group and more developments are in the pipeline to ensure our customers will benefit from the best banking platforms available."