Saturday 20 January 2018

Rabo suffers loss after soured Greek deals

Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Rabobank Ireland suffered a loss last year but it was down to a soured investment in Greek bonds rather than problems with the bank's Irish loans book, according to accounts just filed.

The Dutch-owned bank suffered a €21m loss at its main Irish subsidiary last year, according to accounts just filed with the Companies Office.

The latest loss comes after the same bank bucked the Irish trend by reporting a profit of €43m in 2010.

Losses last year were driven by write-offs on some financial investments, including Greek government bonds, not a result of ordinary lending, the bank said in the accounts.

In fact, lending last year actually grew by around 10pc to €15.7bn, boosting ordinary income by 83pc, according to the same filings.

The biggest driver of increased revenues at the bank were fees and interest from customers. Fee income more than doubled last year to €11.3m, from just over €5m in 2010. The growing loan book helped lift income from interest charges from €130m to €203m.

Rabobank Ireland is one of two units of the Dutch co-operative bank operating here. The second, ACC Bank, has already reported after-tax losses of €174m for 2011. The ACC losses are mainly on loans originally made to property developers.

Both Irish units are ultimately controlled by Dutch farming co-operatives.

The bank's Irish consumer unit is best known in the market as a deposit taker, thanks in large measure to having the highest credit rating in the market.

The latest accounts show that deposits at Rabobank Ireland actually fell in 2011 -- dropping from €3.4bn last year from €3.6bn.

That was around the same time that the bank lost it coveted 'AAA' credit rating, though it also coincided with growing consumer confidence in the state-owned banks.

Over the same period, deposits at ACC fell to €895m from €1.17bn.

Irish Independent

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