The cooperative in practice
Rabobank is a cooperative bank. There are more than a hundred local Rabobanks in the Netherlands, which each operate with a high degree of independence so they can better serve their customers and local communities.
The local Rabobanks form the core of the cooperative. They are positioned nearby their customers and are strongly rooted in their own markets. Local Rabobanks contribute through their activities to the social and economic development of their field of operation.
In addition, local Rabobanks ensure that there is a strong connection with the members and that they are integral part of their field of operation. They achieve this in a number of ways, both informally and formally. The formal dialogue is conducted via the members council. The members of the members council bring the outside world into the bank based on their own background and orientation in order to keep the bank on course.
Members can shape their involvement by becoming a member of Rabobank. The influence and control of the members is embedded robustly and structurally in the members council. A members council is a delegation that represents the total member base and is consequently a reflection of the field of operation. A members council is comprised of 30 to 50 members.
Members have influence and a voice in the bank's strategic course. The Board of Directors engages the members council to assess its policy with a view to optimising its services. The members council also frequently plays an active role in selecting the social projects the bank supports. The members council is chaired by the Chair of the Supervisory Board. He or she represents the members in the General Members Council, which is the highest decision-making body within the cooperative.
General Members Council
The General Members Council is the highest body within our cooperative. The members are represented in the General Members Council by the Chairman of the local Supervisory Board, who is also the Chairman of the members council. This ensures that the voice of our members is heard clearly within the cooperative.
Both the Managing Board and the Supervisory Board render accountability to the General Members Council. The General Members Council adopts the strategy, approves the main points of the annual budget, advises on large acquisitions and alliances and appoints the Supervisory Board members.