Thursday 23 November 2017

An own-goal KBC couldn't bank on

THE past few days should have been good for KBC Bank boss John Reynolds.

Instead, it has turned into a nightmare for the Belgian-owned bank.

Only yesterday, Mr Reynolds (below) launched a new current account, adding to the retail offering of the bank that already offers savings products and mortgages.

And yesterday the bank opened its first branch in Limerick. This marks KBC out as the only retail bank here to be opening branches.

Soon after this, the Irish Independent reported that KBC had cut its mortgage rates for new buyers.

Add to this the fact that KBC Bank is celebrating 40 years in Ireland. All good, and the bank should have been capitalising on it. But then on Sunday it managed to score a massive PR own-goal.

It emerged KBC Bank had been trying to pursue Stephanie Meehan for arrears on the balance of her mortgage for her apartment in crocked Priory Hall. Her partner Fiachra Daly took his own life in July – she said he was under stress following the evacuation from their home in the complex.

The couple's mortgage protection policy should have covered the cost of the mortgage, but there was a shortfall. KBC decided not to pursue Ms Meehan for the arrears, it said.

That should have been a good move by KBC. Except it might have been better if they first told Ms Meehan face- to-face.

Just when the bank was on the up, it managed to undo all the good work.

Irish Independent

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