The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has decided to carry out a full investigation into Bank of Ireland’s proposed acquisition of some of KBC Bank Ireland’s assets and liabilities.
The decision to initiate a Phase 2 probe comes after a preliminary investigation.
The commission will now examine whether the proposed deal could lead to a substantial lessening of competition in the State.
The watchdog said that it had received a number of third-party submissions during the Phase 1 investigation, and that it would accept any further submissions by 4.30pm on Wednesday, 10 November.
The two banks said in April that they had entered into a memorandum of understanding ”to explore a route that could potentially lead to a transaction whereby Bank of Ireland commits to acquire substantially all of KBC Bank Ireland’s performing loan assets and liabilities”.
KBC later announced a deal to sell its non-performing mortgage portfolio, a move that it said would ultimately lead to its withdrawal from the Irish market.