Strong first half for Rabobank as Dutch economy rebounds

DUTCH lender Rabobank booked 41 per cent higher net profit in the first half of 2015, lifted by a rebounding Dutch economy and a steep fall in provisions for bad loans, it said yesterday.

Net profit in the six-month period was €1.52bn, helped by strong retail banking profit in the Netherlands, where an economic recovery is taking hold after two years of recession.

Provisions for bad loans at the largest Dutch mortgage lender fell 70 per cent to €356m, below the long-term average for the bank.

Rabobank’s tier 1 solvency ratio was steady at 13.2 per cent, while its capital ratio improved to 21.5 per cent from 20.8 per cent in January.

Rabobank, one of highest rated banks in the world, said it “will give higher priority to improving profitability and strict control of the volume of our risk-weighted assets”.

“The recovery in the Dutch economy contributed to a sharp fall in loan impairment charges at the local Rabobanks and at real estate subsidiary FGH Bank,” the bank said following the results announcement yesterday.

The unlisted bank did not provide forecasts.