KBC Group: Best Bank Governance Europe 2018

Belgium’s KBC Group, the country’s largest bancassurer, has been particularly successful in creating shareholder value. In fact, the bank ranks first in the world for total shareholder return over the period 2012-2016. Since the present CEO took over management of the company in 2012, the group’s share price has increased seven-fold. KBC Group is a favourite amongst investors and clients alike for its relentless pursuit of excellence in corporate governance which, in turn, optimises performance.

KBC emerged in 1998 from the merger of two Belgian banks and an insurance provider, though the group can trace its corporate roots to the late 19th century. Today, the bank serves more than ten million customers around the world and employs close to 43,000 professionals whose mission is to “enable and protect the dreams of clients”.

KBC Group has been exceptionally successful in exploring and exploiting the synergies between its constituent parts. It remains the only financial group in the world to offer fully integrated banking and insurance products at no additional charge. Even so, KBC Group ranks first on the list of Europe’s most profitable financial institutions – a position it has held on to for three consecutive years.

After the 2008 financial crisis, the financial group consolidated its global operations, introduced a renovated corporate culture, and fine-tuned its overall strategy. The changes proved exceptionally successful and offer a textbook example of how to properly steer a large corporation towards sustained profitability.

The CFI.co judging also notes that KBC Group maintains a leading technological edge. In Ireland, new customers can open an account in under five minutes via their mobile phone. Accountholders can now also apply online for a personal loan or overdraft facility in just five simple steps. The judges agree that KBC Group constitutes a prime example of a bank that deploys its excellence in corporate governance – and the trust generated as a result – to power its growth and keep up with the financial services industry’s fast-changing landscape. The judging panel is therefore pleased to offer KBC Group the 2018 Best Bank Governance Europe Award.

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