Leasing proved the most successful business
area for Rabobank in 2011 with a 51% leap in net profit for De Lage
The Dutch bank’s leasing arm took in €304m in
net profit compared to €201m in 2010 while profit at the Rabobank
Group fell 5% year-on-year.
De Lage Landen’s global income grew 12% in
2011 to €1.3bn and the total loan portfolio grew by €2.4bn to top
€28bn by the end of the year.
Rabobank attributed the significant profit
increase, which outstripped gains experienced in other business
divisions, to a 36% drop in the cost of bad debt and recovery in
residual values for several lease products.
De Lage Landen, which includes fleet leasing
business Athlon Car Lease, made up 6% of the total Rabobank loan
portfolio as of 31 December 2011.
Rabobank’s profit was down from €2.8bn to
€2.6bn which the bank’s chairman, Piet Moerland, described as
satisfactory given the difficult market conditions as a result of
the eurozone crisis.
Rabobank’s exposure to the worst affected
countries is limited, totalling €349m, but Moerland said the
continued crisis was not the only challenge the bank will face in
“Just as other banks, Rabobank is also
confronted with an increase in rules and regulations, such as the
Basel III capital requirements, the new deposit guarantee system
and, most likely, the bank tax. These will generally lead to growth
in lending coming under pressure in 2012,” he said.