Fourth-quarter loss for ABN Amro, but profit for year
ABN Amro saw a €47 million loss in the fourth-quarter of last year, but made a total profit of €1.16 billion which bodes well for the economy. The loss is a result of the bank tax and effects of non-performing loans, the bank announced this morning. ABN Amro lost €106 million to the bank tax, which was introduced in 2012 to make banks join in paying for the crisis. Loan capital amounted to €555 million in the fourth quarter. A profit for the whole year was made, of €1.16 billion. The profit was driven by the release of several loans, which were actually no needed. This concerns reserves for the Madoff-fraud and Greek loans. Without these windfalls, the profit would have been €752 million.
Governing board president Gerrit Zalm spoke in a statement about a "difficult year that has led to a modest result for ABN AMRO." The disappointing result is mainly due to the still-struggling Dutch economy. "We are with our activities still vulnerable to the Dutch economy, where the internal spending has declined since 2008", Zalm said. Zalm expects that the lowest point was reached in 2013 and that there will be improvement in the economy now. He bases this expectation on signs of improvement on the housing market by a stabilization of the prices and a rise in mortgage applications, on the improved "sentiment" in the course of 2013 - like consumer trust, and on the economic growth in the fourth quarter.