Rabobank lending drops 2%, deposits rise 8% in December quarter as annual profit surges 55%

By Gareth Vaughan

Rabobank saw lending contract by almost 2% in the December quarter and deposits grow 8% as the rural lender posted a 55% increase in annual profit.

The bank's latest General Disclosure Statement shows net profit after tax up NZ$29.82 million to NZ$83.67 million for the calendar 2012 year from NZ$53.85 million in 2011. The big rise in profit was helped by a huge improvement in Rabobank's net trading loss on derivatives with a loss of NZ$172,000 recorded, versus a loss of NZ$5.87 million in 2011. A 77% drop in impairment losses also helped the bottom line, with these falling NZ$25.36 million to NZ$7.41 million.

Net interest income rose NZ$19.4 million, or 9%, to NZ$224.41 million. Total operating income was up NZ$24.49 million, or 12%, to NZ$225.39 million. Operating expenses rose slower than income, by 8%, or by NZ$7.5 million, to NZ$100.66 million.

In the December quarter Rabobank's gross loans fell NZ$142.9 million or just under 2%, to NZ$8.12 billion. Deposits, including through online banking unit RaboDirect, rose NZ$253.5 million, or 8%, to NZ$3.31 billion. Term deposits were up NZ$123.5 million to NZ$1.4 billion.

Total assets rose about NZ$91 million to almost NZ$9.090 billion and total liabilities increased about NZ$73 million to NZ$8.206 million. Year-on-year, total impaired assets fell NZ$77.79 million, or 20%, to NZ$317.88 million. And quarter-on-quarter, assets at least 90 days past due fell NZ$1.3 million, or 2%, to NZ$52.5 million.

Rabobank's tier one capital ratio, which represents shareholder's funds in the bank expressed as a percentage of total risk weighted exposures, rose to 9.62% at December 30 from 9% at September 30. Its total capital ratio rose to 12.95% from 12.50%. The Reserve Bank mandated minimums are 4% and 8%, respectively.

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