KBC Bank Ireland has reported a loss – after tax and impairment charges – of €269m for 2011. But it said that its loan impairment charges fell to €510m from €525m in 2010.
The bank said the year was characterised by growing mortgage arrears in its residential loan book and the effects of a stagnant commercial property market. It said that due to weak confidence and uncertainty about property prices, the demand for lending of an investment nature continued to be ”muted”.
However, it said that it remains optimistic about the prospects of economic stability returning to Ireland next year.
KBC Bank Ireland said that it added over 5,000 new customers last year and its total retail deposits are approaching €1 billion. It also increased its headcount during the year with total staff numbers up from 452 to 521.
”The past year was a difficult year for both our customers and the bank,” commented KBC Bank Ireland’s CEO John Reynolds. He added that the bank is committed to support those customers facing financial difficulties.