KBC set to leave Irish market with Bank of Ireland agreement

DUBLIN - Belgian financial group KBC is set to become the latest lender to leave the Irish market after it entered an agreement with Bank of Ireland on Friday to explore the sale of most of its Irish unit's assets and liabilities.

The transaction remains subject to due diligence, further negotiation and agreement of final terms, the two banks said. KBC is also reviewing its options to divest its non-performing mortgage loan portfolio, which is not part of the agreement with Bank of Ireland, it said.

British lender NatWest announced in February that it was winding down its under-performing Ulster Bank business in the Irish Republic.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by David Goodman)

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