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Report: Union asks KBC Group to retain Irish biz

The union representing Irish banking workers has written to KBC Group NV ahead of a decision by the Belgian bank on the future of its subsidiary in the country, arguing that it could have bright prospects, The Irish Times reported Feb. 3.

A large number of employees of KBC Bank Ireland Plc have contacted the Financial Services Unions fearing for their future ahead of KBC Group's decision on Feb. 9 on whether it will continue to run the formerly loss-making subsidiary, turn it into a bancassurance entity, or exit the Irish market, according to the letter from FSU General Secretary Larry Broderick cited in the report.

Improved market conditions and the Irish government's plan to add 10,000 new jobs to the financial services industry by 2020 make retaining ownership of the bank an attractive prospect, Broderick said in his letter to KBC Group Chairman Thomas Leysen and CEO Johan Thijs.

"I fail to see see the logic behind a withdrawal from the Irish market and the subsequent loss of talent that KBC Ireland, and by extension the wider group, would suffer", the letter went on.