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KBC Ireland can have more bad loans than Irish peers, says CEO

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Strategy: KBC boss Peter Roebben

Strategy: KBC boss Peter Roebben

Strategy: KBC boss Peter Roebben

The head of KBC Ireland says that bank does not have to slash its stock of bad loans to meet a directive set by European regulators, because the Irish arrears are part of a wider Belgian group which already beats the target.

The bank also rejected suggestions made during the general election campaign that banks don't pay tax here.

KBC Bank said its effective tax rate in Ireland is 51pc - including bank levy and corporation tax, despite it having so-called deferred tax assets that allow crash era losses to shield some profits from tax, the head of KBC Ireland, Peter Roebben, said.