Financial Services Union gives a cautious welcome to Bank of Ireland and KBC agreeing a legally binding memorandum of understanding.

22 October 2021

John O Connell, General Secretary of the Financial Services Union has given a cautious welcome to the announcement from KBC and Bank of Ireland (BOI) of their agreement to sign a legally binding memorandum of understanding on the acquisition by BOI of substantially all of KBC Bank Ireland’s performing loan assets and liabilities. 

Commenting on the announcement Mr O ‘Connell said:

“BOI and KBC first announced earlier this year that they had signed a non-binding agreement to give them both room to explore the possibility of BOI acquiring a significant part of KBC performing loans. 

The FSU welcome the announcement today that the next stage has been reached where they have signed a legally binding MOU but are conscious that there are many regulatory legal hurdles before any final deal. 

The recent announcement by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) that they have opened a phrase two investigation into this deal shows that there are many issues yet to be resolved and the FSU looks forward to participating with the CCPC in order to protect staff through the second phrase of their investigation

Whilst the transaction is subject to obtaining all appropriate internal and external regulatory approvals the signing of the agreement will mean that if regulatory approval is given the performing loan book will be retained by an Irish Bank which is something that has to be welcomed.

The commitment contained in the BOI statement from both BOI and KBC that TUPE legislation will apply, and staff will transfer with the work if a deal is finally concluded is something that the FSU have called for since these talks were first announced

The commitment to TUPE will give staff in KBC some comfort on future job security. 

We now expect full engagement from both Banks on any transfer of staff.