KBC Bank Ireland has recorded a net profit of €59m for the first quarter of this year, down on the €70.4m reported this time last year.

The lower profits comes as the bank freed up less money that had previously been set aside to deal with bad loans. 

KBC Bank Ireland said it has now refunded and compensated three quarters of the almost 2,800 customers caught up in the tracker mortgage scandal. 

Overall the Belgium-based KBC Group recorded a net profit of €556m in the first quarter of this year, a fall of €75m on the same time last year.

Driven by the commercial performance of our core activities, our total income was up quarter-on-quarter, while costs - excluding bank taxes - were down on the seasonally high last quarter of the year," commented the bank's chief executive Johan Thijs.

"Both our life and non-life businesses grew significantly year-on-year. Finally, we were able to release some loan loss provisions once again, due mainly to our Irish mortgage book," Mr Thijs said.