The capital requirement for the KBC group is determined not only by the ECB, but also by the decisions taken by the various local competent authorities in KBC’s core markets, namely to:
· increase the countercyclical capital buffer in the Czech Republic from 1.25% to 1.50% effective from 1 July 2019
· increase the countercyclical capital buffer in Slovakia from 1.25% to 1.50% effective from 1 August 2019
· introduce a countercyclical capital buffer in Bulgaria (0.5% in 2019 and 0.75% in 2020)
· introduce a countercyclical capital buffer in Ireland (1.0% effective from 5 July 2019)
That corresponds to an additional CET1 requirement of 0.45% at KBC group level (up from 0.35%).
The National Bank of Belgium had already announced its capital buffers for Belgian systemic banks last year. For KBC, the capital buffer requirement is 1.5%, while the capital conservation buffer is 2.50% as from 2019. These buffers are held on top of the minimum CET1 requirement of 4.5% under Pillar 1.
For KBC, this brings the overall CET1 requirement (under the Danish Compromise) to 10.7% (10.6% last year), with an additional Pillar 2 guidance of 1%. KBC clearly exceeds this requirement, as illustrated by its CET1 ratio of 16% at the close of the fourth quarter of 2018.
Johan Thijs, KBC Group CEO, had this to say: 'The ECB's decision reaffirms KBC's low risk profile and its resilience to adverse economic conditions. Our capital position is an extremely solid one and that sends out a reassuring signal to all stakeholders placing their trust in us.
KBC will continue to pursue a policy of maintaining a dynamic buffer above the legally required minimum. That reflects a number of factors, including our attitude towards potentially adverse economic conditions, any new capital requirements and our position relative to our peers. We've set our 'own capital target' at 14% of CET1 and want to keep a flexible buffer of up to 2% of CET1 for potential mergers and acquisitions that would strengthen our position in our core markets. The aggregate figure of 16% of CET1 represents the ‘reference capital position’.
We will also continue to concentrate on our sound fundamentals of having a dynamic client-driven bank-insurance business model, a healthy risk profile, a robust liquidity position supported by a very solid and loyal customer deposit base in our core markets, and a comfortable solvency position that enables us to continue to increase lending to our clients and actively support the communities and economies where we operate.’
More details on the composition of the new capital requirements can be found in the table attached to this press release and at www.kbc.com.
* This news item contains information that is subject to the transparency regulations for listed companies.