The head of the KBC Group has apologised for 'insensitive' comments he made yesterday about the tracker mortgage scandal.
Yesterday, CEO Johan Thijs described the measures the Central Bank has taken against lenders as a result of the scandal as "annoying".
Mr Thijs called on the regulator to move on, and insisted the Belgium-based group had learned from its mistakes.
The remarks prompted a reaction from the Taoiseach earlier, who said the best way for the bank to move on was for them to "deal with" the scandal.
Leo Varadkar added that they should issue a full apology to anyone who they've wronged.
Today, Mr Thijs said he wanted to "acknowledge the insensitivity of what I said and the manner in which it was delivered".
He said: “I would like to personally and sincerely apologise to our customers and to the Irish public for the offence caused by my words yesterday in relation to the tracker mortgage examination and investigation.
"KBC has previously apologised for the way we handled tracker mortgages on behalf of our customers, many of whom were directly impacted and I would like, also personally, to formally reiterate that apology again today."
He added that his comments yesterday were "unintentional", and that he was "truly sorry for the offence caused".
He also acknowledged that the Central Bank plays a 'crucial role' in regulatory matters, and insisted his own company is determined to act as a "positive force for choice" in the banking sector.
Earlier this year, the Central Bank’s final report into the tracker mortgage controversy showed just over 40,000 people were denied cheaper interest rates by Irish banks.
Those impacted were paid a total of €683 million by the banks in redress, while 99 families lost their homes as a consequence of the scandal.