KBC Bank Ireland has announced it is reducing the annual equivalent interest rate for business customers on Smart Access Demand accounts from 0.85% to 0.5%, and from 0.5% to 0.25% on Select Access Demand accounts.

The Bank also said it is discontinuing the two deposit accounts for new business customers from the end of February.

The bank’s Smart Access Demand Account is for deposits of between €3,000 and €100,000, while its Select Access Demand account covers deposits of between £2,000 and £1,000,000.

Meanwhile, KBC Ireland business customers who use Standard Demand Deposit accounts have had their annual equivalent interest rates reduced from 0.3% to 0.1%

It follows yesterday’s announcement that KBC Bank Ireland reported profits of €75m for 2015, a marked improvement on the net loss of €91m posted in 2014.

The bank said its operating profits for the year - before tax and impairment costs - came to €119m.

KBC said its loan impairment costs came to €48m last year and it said it saw a 25% reduction in the number of mortgages arrears cases last year.

Its share of the mortgage market rose to 14% in 2015 and 74,000 new customers opened accounts with it during the year. 

KBC also expanded its network last year as it opened new retail banking hubs in key locations, including Wilton in Cork, Waterford, Naas, Kilkenny and Greystones and a flagship digital hub on College Green in Dublin.

It currently has 15 retail hubs.

KBC Bank Ireland Chief Executive Wim Verbraeken said the bank was "very satisfied" with its financial performance for last year.