The Financial Services Union (FSU) has reiterated its call for KBC Bank Ireland to clarify whether its staff would be able to transfer with loan assets and liabilities if it completes a deal to sell them to Bank of Ireland.

It follows a virtual meeting between the bank and around 400 KBC staff today at which the question of whether a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by both lenders includes a commitment for staff to transfer under the so-called TUPE legislation.

"The large turnout of KBC staff at today's meeting is a clear indication of the frustration, fear and confusion that staff are feeling around this announcement," said John O’Connell, General Secretary of the FSU.

"There was an avalanche of questions posed particularly around the issue of TUPE and future engagement with KBC."

"It is a moral responsibility of both employers to respond to this fundamental question from staff."

On Friday, both banks said they were in negotiations about Bank of Ireland acquiring KBC Bank Ireland’s performing loan assets and liabilities.

KBC also said that it was separately examining options around the possible sale of its non-performing loans and that if both sales were to take place it would lead to it withdrawing from the Irish market.

KBC has around €10bn in loans on its balance sheet and €5bn in deposits and employs 1,246 staff here.

At today’s meeting the FSU told KBC staff that it had engaged a legal team to advise it on the complexities of competition law and to support it in making a submission to the Consumer and Competition Commission (CCPC).

Mr O’Connell also told members that the union had written to both banks seeking urgent meetings in order to clarify the content of the MoU.

"Staff are shocked at the sudden announcement and are entitled to receive assurances from their employer on the future for their jobs," said Mr O’Connell.

Yesterday, the CCPC said it had opened an initial examination of the proposals.