Rabobank, the only big Dutch bank not to have had government cash because of the financial crisis, had a difficult first half of 2009 but still managed to book net profit of €1.3bn.
Nevertheless, net profit was down 18% on the first half of 2008.
Rabobank said it expects a further levelling off of growth in its loan activities in the second half. Competition for scarce savings money is also pressuring earnings, the cooperative bank said.
‘While some economists have spotted a swallow, I, for one, do not see an economic recovery yet,’ Rabobank’s new chairman Piet Moerland said in a statement.
‘Many western countries are battling with recession, including the Netherlands, which is experiencing its most severe economic decline since World War II. This has created serious problems for customers, which in turn is reflected in Rabobank Group’s results.’
In particular, Rabobank Real Estate sold 22% fewer homes in the first half of the year, reducing profit at its property arm by 27% to €68.
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