It's your Mortgage Day!
Suite of Digital Innovations Planned for 2021
“Despite a difficult economic environment, we delivered a strong performance in 2020. We successfully transitioned the business to a bank insurance model, we saw an increase in the number of mortgage applications received particularly in Q4, alongside strong growth in current accounts and the launch of an innovative digital pension solution.
“The upgrade of our core infrastructure in 2020 has enabled us to accelerate the pace of innovation to better serve our customers. We have a portfolio of innovative products and services planned for launch in 2021. Once again, we are bringing more first-to-market contactless payment solutions to our customers in Ireland and will soon launch a suite of contactless wearable devices. We will continue to grow our bank insurance business, leveraging on the experience from the digital pension launch to bring a unique Life Insurance offering to the Irish Market.”
“We know that Irish people want a change from the status quo in Irish banking and insurance. With a first-class, efficient, and seamless digital offer supported by our team of financial experts, we represent positive change providing people with the choice they need and deserve.”
Peter Roebben, Chief Executive, KBC Bank Ireland PLC
2020 Financial Highlights
Resilient year for mortgage lending with new mortgage lending of €1.05 billion in 2020 ; New mortgage lending of €386M in Q4, up 30% quarter on quarter and the strongest quarter on record since the start of the retail bank. Share of mortgage market increases to 12.6% in 2020
Impaired loan stock reduced by €223 million (-13%) to €1,433 million representing c.14% of the total portfolio
6,843 payment breaks granted on live mortgages and loans for personal and SME customers as at 31 December 2020. At year end, 94% had rolled off payment breaks
Contactless payments up 57% year-on-year through KBC’s market-leading range of digital and mobile wallets
“I would like to acknowledge the dedication of everyone at KBC Ireland and thank the team for their tireless work over the past year, delivering a seamless online and in-person service to customers in unprecedented circumstances. We remain committed to supporting customers who find themselves in financial difficulty, offering a range of solutions tailored to each customer’s individual circumstances. To our customers, new and existing, I would like to thank you for choosing KBC, we will continue to work hard to deliver a bank and insurance experience that meets your needs.
Peter Roebben, Chief Executive, KBC Bank Ireland
Record Mortgage Lending
KBC recorded mortgage lending of €1.05 billion in 2020 as first-time buyers, switchers and movers sought to make savings on new and existing mortgages. In the final quarter, new mortgage lending stood at €386 million, up 30% quarter on quarter and the strongest quarter on record since the start of the retail bank in 2013.
Our focus now is to bring new and innovative solutions for mortgage customers which will include the launch of a new digital mortgage offering, making it easier for customers to apply for a mortgage online.
KBC’s fee-free banking proposition, market leading digital app and suite of digital wallets, has led to substantial growth in current accounts in 2020. The bank added 34,000 new current accounts in 2020 with 77% of them opened over the phone or online. In December the bank saw a surge of new current accounts opened, up 16% YOY. KBC also noted a significant rise in the use of digital wallets as a result of the pandemic, up 57% YOY compared to 2019.
Digital Payment Innovations
Digital payment methods are undergoing rapid change in a short period of time, and KBC is responding fast offering a growing list of innovative firsts for customers and will continue to bring these to the market throughout 2021.
KBC will shortly support the launch of a collection of wearable contactless payment devices, from rings, bracelets and charms to keyrings and watches.
Bank + Insurer
Irish people are looking for products and services that make money and life management easier and following the bank’s success with current accounts and mortgages, KBC launched as a bank insurance provider in Ireland in 2020, aligning with the overall KBC Group Strategy.
Customers now demand fast, digital, hassle-free, products and services and in response, KBC has developed a simple to use innovative and differentiating life and pensions offer, all controlled through the KBC app. The digital model is clearly resonating, as today two out of three pensions are opened by customers under 40 years of age. KBC’s digital pension offering has been recognised by peers in the industry, taking home awards at the Irish Pensions Awards and Research Excellence Awards this year.
Sustainability, at the core of our business
KBC’s Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) funds are designed to balance environmental and social good in a way that brings about positive change, while also delivering a financial return to investors. In 2020, 22% of all new investments were made into SRI funds.
Generating sustainable, profitable growth and contributing to a more sustainable society go hand in hand. Like the adoption of digital banking, KBC were ahead of the curve with sustainability, setting ambitious sustainability targets back in 2015 and implementing strict policies and sustainability guidelines to reduce our environmental footprint. The bank expects to have achieved a 65% reduction in carbon emissions in 2021 when compared to 2015.
KBC remained committed to the health and wellbeing of Irish people in 2020, and this was demonstrated through the continued support of the KBC Dublin Marathon and WellFest, which were delivered virtually in 2020. Health and wellbeing will remain a focus for KBC this year through the bank’s continued sponsorship of both the KBC Dublin Marathon and WellFest.