Results satisfy Dutch bank


DUTCH bank, Rabobank, has reported pretax profits of £12.7 million at its Irish operations in Dublin's international financial services centre.

The bank's profits last year were substantially lower than in 1995, when a once off investment gain on one of its portfolios brought its pretax profits up to £24 million. Rabobank, which employs 35 people in Dublin, said yesterday that the 1996 profits represented a "satisfactory" return for the company.

Last year, Rabobank Ireland's assets more than doubled from £1.89 billion at the end of 1995 to £3.6 billion at the end of last year. In Ireland, the bank provides international banking and treasury services, as well as domestic banking services to Irish companies.

Announcing its end of year performance yesterday, Rabobank Ireland's general manager, Mr Ruurd Weulen Kranenberg, said that each of its divisions had a strong result last year, reporting increased business from the growing number of international trading companies based at the Dublin financial centre.

Its two subsidiaries, De Lage Landen, which specialises in leasing and asset finance, and Interpolis, its captive insurance arm, also have operations at the international financial services centre, serving international cients.

The group has recently moved to offices at the Dublin financial centre and has taken a 25 year lease on an office in the Georges Dock building.

Mr Weulen Kranenberg said it is continuing to invest in technology as part of its long term commitment to developing a significant banking operation in Ireland. He also welcomed the proposal to introduce a low corporate tax regime after 2005, which, he said, will help the growth of the financial services centre.