The retail banking segment of Dutch lender ABN AMRO has posted a profit of €725m for the first half of 2017, an increase of 7% compared to €674m in the year ago period.

For the period ended 30 June 2017, the units operating income stood at €1.96bn as against €2.23bn in the year ago half. Total expenses declined to €991m from €1.13bn in first half of 2016.

The unit’s net interest income for the first half of 2017 increased by 3% to €1.74bn, while net fee and commission income declined by €18m compared with the first half of 2016.

Overall, the banking group posted profit of €1.57bn for the first half of 2017, a surge of 82% compared to €866m in first half of 2016.

Fully-loaded CET1 ratio increased to 17.6% and the fully-loaded leverage ratio improved to 3.9% during the period, the bank said in its trading update.

The bank has decided to pay an interim dividend of €0.65 per share to the shareholders.

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ABN AMRO Group CEO Kees van Dijkhuizen said: “We are diligently executing our strategy. We continue to invest in our digital strategy and introduced several new features for our mortgage products in Q2. An example  is    the ‘My Mortgage’ platform,  which  allow s clients to carry  out  activities  relating  to  their   mortgage  application  digitally  and  when  it  suits  them  best ,  including  uploading   documents and viewing their mortgage offer. We are on track with our IT transformation programme.”