Rabobank earnings rise on sharp fall in loan provisions

Dutch co-operative banking group reports 20 per cent rise in 2015 net profit to €2.2 billion

Rabobank’s loan book shrank by €3.5 billion to €426.2 billion in 2015

Rabobank’s loan book shrank by €3.5 billion to €426.2 billion in 2015

 

Rabobank, the Dutch co-operative banking group which operates in Ireland, reported a 20 per cent rise in 2015 net profit on Thursday to €2.21 billion in a rebounding Dutch economy.

The dominating factor was a fall in loan provisions of more than €1 billion, to €343 million, though Rabobank said that low level would probably not be maintained in 2016.

Rabobank in December announced plans to shed 9,000 jobs, a fifth of its workforce, and sell as much as €150 billion worth of assets on its balance sheet by 2020 to make itself more resilient to financial shocks.

Chief executive Wiebe Draijer said the bank would press ahead with those plans, having completed a change to its corporate structure in which co-operation members have been made legally subordinate to the head office in Utrecht.

He said the moves would lead to a reduction in the bank’s cost/income ratio, which was 65.2 per cent in 2015, “towards the 50 per cent mark” in 2020.

Rabobank echoed remarks made by rival ABN Amro in its earnings report on Wednesday that, despite a Dutch economy forecast to grow by at least 2 per cent in 2016, businesses in the Netherlands were not taking new loans.

Rabobank’s loan book shrank by €3.5 billion to €426.2 billion in 2015.

– (Reuters)