National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) has reported a year-on-year 10 per cent rise in profits in the third quarter of 2009 to $263.4m from $238m.

NBK says that in the first nine months of the year profits fell 17 per cent as a result of the bank reimbursing customers for its exposure to investment schemes run by Bernard Madoff, the US financier jailed for fraud.

In addition to the $66m of reimbursements made to customers by NBK for its exposure to Madoff schemes, it also made losses of $33m from local investments, and a further $66m in provisions for bad loans.

Total operating income during the first nine months of 2009 was $1.4bn, up from $1.37bn in 2008. In the same period, the bank’s assets declined 1.1 per cent to $42.6bn.

The UAE’s Union National Bank has also reported a year-on-year 38 per cent drop in third quarter profits.

The bank made AED358m ($97.5m) in the period. Total assets rose 20 per cent to AED75.7bn.