Bad debts in the Netherlands pressure ABN Amro’s first quarter

ABN Amro booked underlying net profit of €486m in the first quarter of this year, down 17% on the first three months of last year.

The bank said the decline is largely caused by the €187m which it had to set aside to cover bad debts, due to the Dutch economic problems. A downturn in commission income also impacted on the results.
‘Going forward we expect loan impairments to rise, based in part on the weak outlook on the Dutch economy and continued pressure on interest margins,’ said the state-owned bank’s chief executive Gerrit Zalm in a statement.
Zalm also criticised proposals to increase banking taxes in the Netherlands. ‘It is important not to overburden the banking sector and to keep the international playing field level, as this would have an impact on customers and the economy’ he said.

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