UTRECHT, Netherlands, March 1 Dutch lender
Rabobank warned on Thursday 2012 will be a difficult
year due to weak European government spending and poor financial
"The market will continue to struggle in 2012. Consumer and
business confidence is not expected to recover in the near
future," Rabobank said in a statement.
"It will still be some time before all countries of Europe
have their public finances back in good order and confidence has
been restored on the financial markets," the bank said.
Cooperatively-owned Rabobank, which lost its triple-A credit
rating from agency Standard & Poor's last year, reported a 5
percent fall in its 2011 net profit to 2.6 billion euros.
(Reporting by Sara Webb and Gilbert Kreijger; Editing by David