Straight talk, sticky money
Internet savings bank RaboDirect has since 2002 played a major worldwide role in raising funding – the funds a bank attracts that it uses to provide loans. RaboDirect doesn't target fleeting interest rate chasers, but instead focuses specifically on savers looking for certainty. This is because the bank wants to add 'sticky' savings to its balance: savings that will remain on deposit for a prolonged period.
RaboDirect's no-nonsense attitude
Savings are a scarce commodity and are becoming increasingly important for banks. More stringent accounting regulations mean banks must fund an increasingly large proportion of their assets through stable means. And it doesn't get any more stable than savings. That's why there is a fierce battle for savings.
The internet savings bank profiles itself in the market as a customer-centric, no-nonsense player: a 'straight-talking savings bank' based on Rabobank's values. They don't want to bore customers with financial lingo or bombard them with complicated terms and conditions. RaboDirect offers straight talk, service, reliability and the strength of the Rabobank brand. Its customer-focused approach appeals to many savers. RaboDirect currently serves 800,000 customers spread across five countries: Belgium, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Germany. It has a total of more than 30 billion euros in savings under management.
More than just a good interest rate
'We focus on having a good relationship with the customer for a prolonged period. So we do what a cooperative bank is supposed to do,' says Eric Moes, Head of Global Business Development at Rabobank International Direct Banking (IDB). 'We look for loyal customers. People who want more than just a good interest rate. At RaboDirect we consistently follow a predictable, explainable, transparent and stable rates policy. So we don’t offer special deals on rates because that only attracts interest rate chasers who will run off to the competitor for even the slightest difference in rates. And Rabobank’s cooperative identity helps us achieve our aims.'
Moes says Rabobank's reputation for reliability and solidity is the main pull. 'People want to put their savings somewhere safe. Rabobank has one of the highest ratings of any bank worldwide and that appeals to people. Our bank has proven to be a safe haven, particularly during the uncertain times of the European debt crisis. We see that reflected in a sound balance sheet, but also in the growing customer loyalty and the very high level of customer satisfaction.'
This positive customer experience can be, according to Moes, explained in part by the RaboDirect formula. 'We aim to strike a good balance between product, service and technology, whilst always putting the customer first. Thanks to our thorough market knowledge, we are able to carry products that appeal to the public. Our multidisciplinary teams place the focus on the customer and as a result we earn high scores on service. And we use standardised IT in all the countries in which we operate so that we can guarantee continuity and security.'
Information on Rabobank's different savings banks around the world is provided via the following links.