The announcement of a P&L and capital-accretive €1.9bn non-performing loans (NPL) sale largely overshadows H1 results. The sale accelerates NPL reduction to a 25% ratio pro-forma. It further illustrates the support to provisioning levels across banks in Ireland and the opportunity for the sector to avail of attractive NPL buyer demand to accelerate its NPL reduction. KBC Ireland continues to benefit from write-backs to boost its returns. Longer-term top-line growth will be the key to driving sustainable returns. Unsurprisingly, the results show a decline in mortgage share in H1, which has prompted the recent competitive pricing action.
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