Rabobank H1 net profit drops, sees weak full year
AMSTERDAM Aug 22 (Reuters) - Dutch lender Rabobank said first-half net profit fell 14 percent to 1.1 billion euros ($1.47 billion) reflecting higher bad debts as the economy remains in recession, and said it expected further weakness in the rest of the year.
Rabobank, one of several banks whose employees or former employees have been named in the Libor interest rate rigging scandal, also said it took a provision related to the Libor case but did not give any details of the amount.
The bank has said it is cooperating with global investigations, and that it intends to defend itself in the U.S. where it has been named a defendant in civil litigation over Libor.
"The Dutch economy remained in recession and the prospects for recovery continue to be poor," Piet Moerland, chief executive, said in a statement. "The prolonged nature of the economic downturn is particularly taking its toll."
The cooperatively owned bank, which reported a net profit of 2.1 billion euros in 2012, has already announced sweeping job cuts, branch closures and reductions in remuneration packages to save about 1 billion euros in costs.
About 8,000 domestic retail banking jobs will go by 2016 - reducing the headcount in those operations by nearly a third to 20,000 from 28,000, while Rabobank said it will close about 300 out of the 800 or so existing branches of its member banks. (Reporting by Sara Webb; Editing by Thomas Escritt)
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