Johan Thijs, KBC Group CEO: ‘Our national regulator’s decision clarifies for the group and our stakeholders the capital requirements KBC must meet. We feel comfortable with the size of the additional buffer that the National Bank is asking and that we had already factored in to our capital management models. As our capital position is currently very robust (16.7%* CET1, fully loaded, under the Danish compromise) we can easily absorb this extra buffer and still stick to our strategic ambitions and planned pay-out ratio of at least 50%**. That is a comforting signal to all stakeholders who put their trust in us.
We want to continue focusing on our strong fundamentals, which are our sound client-centric bank-insurance model, strong risk profile, and robust liquidity position, backed by a very solid and loyal client deposit base in our core markets in Belgium and Central Europe and a comfortable solvency level that gives us the scope to lend more to our clients and actively support the communities and local economies in which we operate. We will continue to ensure appropriate capital and liquidity levels within a strict risk framework.’
*Capital ratio of KBC Group NV at the end of June 2015, including 2 billion euros remaining state aid (YES)
** Subject to approval by the General Meeting of Shareholders of KBC Group