Rabobank has become the last of the big three Dutch banks to announce a surge in first-half profits, earning €2.5 billion in the first and second quarters of the year, nearly double last year’s total.
Like ABN Amro and ING, Rabobank has been able to profit from higher interest rates on loans, while not putting up interest on savings by similar margins. The bank has earned €1.4 billion more in interest this year than a year ago.
ABN Amro said on Wednesday it had booked €1.4 billion in net profit in the first half of the year, a rise of 81% on 2022. ING said earlier that it had doubled net profits om the first half to €3.7 billion.
All three banks are paying between 1% and 1.25% on regular savings accounts although these rates will rise later in the month.
Rabobank’s chief executive Stefaan Decraene brushed off criticism of the low interest paid on savings on Thursday. Rabobank’s basic 1.5% from next week is “not bad” compared with the others, he said.
Italy and Spain are looking at imposing a windfall tax on banks that have not passed on higher rates to consumers quickly enough.
The Dutch banking association NVB said on Tuesday that such a tax may pressure banks who are making very necessary investments in corporate and retail banking. It also pointed out that banks already pay €500 million a year in extra taxes on top of corporate taxes paid by all companies.
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