Dutch bank ABN Amro says 2012 profits rose 40 per cent on fewer charges, but operations flat

AMSTERDAM – ABN Amro, the Dutch bank that was nationalized in 2008 to prevent a meltdown of the Netherlands’ financial system, says profits rose 43 per cent in 2013, as it booked fewer investment losses.

Net profit was €948 million ($1.24 billion), up from €665 million a year ago when the company took large losses on bonds it held in Southern Europe, notably Greece. However, impairment charges were bigger than profits in both years, at €1.29 billion in 2012 and €1.76 billion in 2011. This time around, the trouble was closer to home, as ABN took large loan loss provisions against exposures to the foundering Dutch real estate and construction markets.

ABN will pay its owners — ultimately, Dutch taxpayers — a €250 million dividend for 2012. Nationalization cost at least €32 billion.