KBC app will manage accounts in other banks
KBC Bank Ireland is to launch a new service that will allow users to manage accounts at other banks via the KBC app. European legislation means other banks have to co-operate, under rules designed to open up the provision of payment services.
The bank hopes the app will encourage people to open accounts with it, CEO Wim Verbraeken told the Irish Independent. He said KBC would not charge a fee or use advertising to monetise the service.
He was speaking after the bank announced third-quarter results, posting a net profit after tax and impairments of €33.6m for the quarter, a massive jump on the equivalent figure of €2.6m for the third quarter of last year.
It has added 60,000 new customer accounts in the first nine months of the year.
Mr Verbraeken said the bank has no plans to sell any more portfolios of non-performing loans. A previously announced sale of €1.9bn (par value) of non-performing loans, is due to close in the coming weeks, he said. "We are satisfied with the results both commercially and financially for the year to date.
"Clearly as the economy's growing there's greater scope and greater demand for financial products, whether it's on the banking, insurance or asset management side."
The KBC boss has previously spoken about plans to expand its offering here in insurance. It already offers insurance products as an intermediary, with the products coming through other firms such as Zurich and Irish Life. "As our customer base is growing we are in a position to offer protection to a growing base of our own customers. It's really in the DNA of KBC Group globally to be a bank-insurer.
"And that's why I was referring to our ultimate calling to be a bank-insurer and have our own insurance products offered to our customers here in Ireland.
"And that is still what we are studying, and we are looking for the potential of that in future periods, but it's not imminent."
The bank has put a big focus on digital innovation as a driver of growth. Mr Verbraeken said the experiences customers have with other ecommerce businesses like Amazon or Google is translating into demand for digital banking products.