KBC Bank Ireland has started a series of "care calls" to over 5,000 cocooning customers who may be negatively impacted by the outbreak of Covid-19. 

The bank said the calls are an additional measure to support older or more vulnerable customers who may not have access to social media or email, especially those who are cocooning.  

"We are aware that the cocooning measures now in place for those over 70 and the medically vulnerable may make it difficult for some to adequately manage their day-to-day finances, so we have started to contact customers who may need us more at this time", said Peter Roebben, CEO at KBC Bank Ireland. 

Peter Roebben said that while the Covid-19 pandemic has caused a great deal of uncertainty for many, the bank wanted to reassure customers that it has the necessary supports in place to help them at this difficult time.

He said that anyone who has any concerns about the impact of Covid-19 on their finances can phone the bank.

A dedicated KBC team has been established to help vulnerable customers with any financial concerns or questions they have regarding Covid-19. 

This team can be contacted at 1800 804472.

KBC has also launched a new employee-led initiative to support charities working with vulnerable groups in Ireland through The Community Foundation for Ireland's Covid-19 Fund, which was set up to assist charities with immediate needs arising out of Covid-19 over the next six months. 

KBC staff can avail of up to three volunteering days to support fundraising efforts in aid of the community response to Covid-19. 

Meanwhile, the bank's Belgian parent said today that no reliable estimate can be made at this point on the size of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the bank's credit costs.

KBC Bank Group said this was because a number of events such as the length and depth of the downturn of the economy and legislative actions that are being taken by authorities in its  different home markets may have an impact on its assessment of future loan losses. 

It said it was planning to expand on this matter in the course of the second quarter.

KBC Group CEO Johan Thijs said that while the long-term impact of the coronavirus crisis on the economy and on KBC's customers is still uncertain, the group remains committed to helping and protecting customers in these difficult times. 

"Our liquidity and capital buffers allow us to face today's challenges with sound confidence. Moreover, our investments in digital transformation are proving to be invaluable in serving our customers in this time of lockdown," Johan Thijs said.