KBC Bank Ireland has reported a net profit of €8m after tax and impairments for the first quarter of 2021.

The bank announced last month that it was in discussions about the possible sale of its performing loan assets and liabilities to Bank of Ireland.

In a trading statement today, the bank said that while the talks with Bank of Ireland are ongoing, it remains fully committed to offering quality retail banking, investment and insurance services.

There is no immediate impact for customers, it added.

"We are fully conscious of our responsibilities to our customers and colleagues, and we will provide material updates as the process develops," the bank's chief executive Peter Roebben added.

KBC Bank Ireland said its new mortgage lending jumped by 54% to €296m in the first quarter of this year, while it increased its share of new mortgage lending market to 13.8%, a 44% rise on the same time last year.

The bank said it added 9,600 new current accounts in the first three months of 2021, an increase of 2% when compared to the same time last year.

It noted that 83% of these new accounts were opened over the phone or online.

CEO Peter Roebben said the bank's first quarter performance was strong as demand for mortgage products increased.

He said that new mortgage lending was up 54% year on year to €296m.

"The volume of lending in the first quarter is reflective of the demand among first time buyers, movers and switchers," the CEO added.

The Belgian bank first entered the Irish market in 1978 through the majority acquisition of Irish Intercontinental Bank and has 1,246 employees across its 12 hubs around the country..

The bank's parent company, KBC Group, ended the first quarter of 2021 with a net profit of €557m.