Union requests urgent meeting with KBC management on staff security and welfare

Issued : 23 December 2018

In response to a number of arson attacks on KBC locations, the Financial Services Union has written to KBC Ireland CEO Wim Verbraeken requesting the Bank review and refresh staff security procedures and also its approach to arrears and non-performing loans. The Union is seeking an urgent meeting with management to discuss staff security and welfare.

In a letter to the CEO Acting General Secretary of FSU, Gareth Murphy, called on KBC to protect staff.

“A number of staff have contacted FSU extremely upset and stressed by these developments and we have reached out to support and offer guidance to our members in KBC.

All staff are entitled to safe and secure working environments.  KBC must now put extra effort and attention into making sure staff are not at risk. I would call on you to audit all roles in KBC that might be vulnerable in this context and to put in place extra security procedures and precautions to make sure that no KBC staff are at risk. I also call on you to offer assistance to any staff stressed by these developments and ensure that flexibility is in place with local management to positively assist staff locally.”

In addition to staff safety, Gareth Murphy, also called on KBC to review its handling of arrears cases in response to public anger.

“However, I must also take this opportunity to call on you as CEO of KBC to address some of the public anger and concerns about the approach KBC has taken in recent times to dealing with arrears and non-performing loans. As a Bank you made these loans and so you must take your share of responsibility for ensuring that sustainable solutions are put in place for customers. I would call on you to engage with experts in this field, like the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation, and address this situation.”

Gareth Murphy also noted that peaceful and respectful public protests have been held at KBC. He commented:

“I understand public anger. There remain many unresolved issues from the Banking crisis and the manner in which Banks have acted. But it is vital that the public remember that ordinary Bank staff are not to blame or responsible. They are working people who live in all our communities and are our friends and family. No form of protest or no anger should ever place staff at risk.”