NETHERLANDS - Kas Bank’s commission income developed in line with the last-year’s trend – a rise of approximately 10% - during the first quarter of 2005, it said in a statement.

“In spite of the low interest rate level, interest income increased even slightly,” it added. “The same goes for the international client base, although the market remains highly competitive.”

Spokesman Bob Goulooze declined to give further information on the figures. Over last year the company reported an interest income of €29m and commission earnings of €67m.

Kas Bank’s half-year figures for 2005 – to be published in September – will be accounted for under new International Financial Reporting Standards for the first time, the statement said. It said the move would raise pensions costs.

Meanwhile, consulting and software company Ortec has announced it has provided Fortis Netherlands with asset liability management software for its pension funds. According to Ortec the software also supports the various Fortis retirement plans in formulating their long-term strategy.

“Fortis decided to purchase the ALM software licenses after a successful pilot project at Fortis Bank in the Netherlands,” Ortec said. Fortis’ Dutch pension plans manage a total of more than €4bn of assets.

“The advanced scenario analysis techniques in Ortec’s software allow Fortis to gain a comprehensive insight into its current and expected funding ratio. Analyses of the different scenarios also support the retirement board in formulating effective long-term strategies,” Ortec said.

Fortis will start another project to evaluate if and how the ALM software can be used for its Belgian pension funds as well. This project could be completed by the end of the summer.