KBC risk approach


We have placed our sustainable and profitable performance within a framework of robust risk, capital and liquidity management.

Our risk management is based on a ‘Three Lines of Defence' model, to shield us against risks that might threaten the achievement of our goals. Read more about the ‘Three Lines of Defence' model


Our priority: putting the client at the centre of our risk management efforts.

This requires risk management to support the business side in the offering of appropriate, fair and sustainable products and services.

Our constant concern: protecting the client from unfair or inappropriate practices.

Client protection is also increasingly enshrined in regulations like the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive/Regulation (MiFID/MiFIR) and the Insurance Mediation Directive (IMD), and in various initiatives launched by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).


Our environment: increasing regulation

Increasing regulation is an issue for the financial sector as a whole. In addition to legislation already in force, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II and MiFIR) and Payment Services Directive II (PSD2), it includes the following in the years ahead:

  • The further implementation of the Benchmark Regulation, which entails a thorough reform of the interest-rate benchmarks used for market transactions, credit contracts, accounts and securities issues.
  • The reform of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR), which will have an operational impact on our group-wide derivatives trading activities.
  • EU measures to mobilise financial resources for sustainable growth (including a duty to report on environmental, social and governance factors).
  • The draft Regulation on privacy and electronic communication, which is expected in 2020–2021 and which will include tighter rules for the use of electronic communication data.
  • Enshrining EU procurement guidelines (EBA, EAVB) in national law.
  • Amendments to the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD2) and the Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR2) and Capital Requirements Directive (CRD5), as well as the ongoing implementation of the Basel IV legislation at both EU and national level.
  • New IFRS, including IFRS 17, which applies to insurance activities and will become effective in a few years’ time.

New risks linked to an ever changing operating context

We also view cyber risk, including hacking, as a key risk. Cyber-attacks are a constant threat in an increasingly digital world, with the potential to cause significant financial and reputational harm.

Business risk arises whenever changes in external factors threaten to undermine demand for our products and services, or their profitability. Significant causes of this type of risk include changes in the competitive environment or shifting client behaviour.

Our approach to sector specific risks 

In addition to these general risks, we are inherently exposed as a bank-insurer to sector-specific risks such as credit risk, country risk, interest rate risk, foreign exchange risk, insurance underwriting risk and operational risk. A summary of the most important banking and insurance-specific risks can be found in the annual report, under Risk Management.

We monitor our performance

In addition to the comprehensive monitoring of various risk indicators, we monitor our solvency and liquidity performance via a number of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), the most important of which are listed in the table below. Effective results per KPI can be found in the annual report.

KPI What Regulatory requirements
Common equity ratio [common equity tier-1 capital] / [total weighted risks]. The calculation is fully loaded.

Overall capital requirement 11.31%

Each year, the Board of Directors decides on the distribution to shareholders of capital in excess of a 15.0% fully loaded common equity ratio.

MREL ratio

[own funds and eligible liabilities] / [Total risk-weighted assets (RWA) or leverage ratio exposure amount (LRE)]

≥ 27.87% RWA (’24)

≥ 7.38% LRE (’24)

Net stable funding ratio (NSFR) [available amount of stable funding] / [required amount of stable funding]. ≥ 100%
Liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) [stock of high-quality liquid assets] / [total net cash outflows over the next 30 calendar days]. ≥ 100%


Last update: 11-08-2021