The bank said that profit in the three months to the end of June fell 5.7 per cent, compared to the same period last year, to SR1.22bn ($326.4m). This follows a 7.6 per cent fall in profit in the first quarter of the year.

In 2007 the bank reported three consecutive periods of falling profits, before a 1.8 per cent rise in profits in the fourth quarter, also blaming the stock market slump.

Assets of the bank rose to SR184bn compared to SR124bn at end of the first half of 2007, while deposits grew 24 per cent to SR129bn.