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Clients up, profits down for cooperative bank

A huge influx of new customers in 2008 failed to prevent a drop in profits at the Raiffeisen cooperative bank group.

The group announced on Thursday that it had made a net profit of SFr564 million ($478 million), 19.5 per cent down on the previous year.

It attributed the fall to stock exchange turbulence.

However, Raiffeisen gained some 158,000 new customers and SFr11.6 billion in fresh money in 2008.

Raiffeisen chairman Pierin Vincenz said the bank's business model had proved its worth in a difficult situation.

Reports surfaced last year that the financial crisis had prompted many savers to start spreading their assets around different institutions to safeguard them. Raiffeisen, along with cantonal banks and the post office's banking arm, benefited from this trend.

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