How rock-solid is Rabobank?

What is a bank's creditworthiness? Rating agencies provide an assessment of this by assigning ratings on the basis of an analysis of the bank and its operating environment. Below, Rabobank recapitulates the most recent ratings and responds to its position.

Investors in debt securities in particular (bonds and capital instruments) consider it important to know how solid a bank is, in order to be able to assess the risk they incur. But customers depositing their savings or surplus cash at a bank are also eager for an objective assessment of how safe these will be with the bank concerned. It should be noted that the deposit guarantee scheme applies to savings up to EUR 100,000 for private individuals and SMEs.

The large rating agencies Moody's, Standard & Poor's, Fitch and DBRS all apply their own methodology to determine these ratings. Ratings often influence investor’s decisions to a great extent. Ratings are important for banks because they have an impact on the terms for borrowing in the money and capital markets. The ratings extend from Triple A (the highest possible creditworthiness) to C or D (those banks with payment arrears).

Gradually lower

Rabobank has traditionally received relatively high ratings from all rating agencies. Until November 2011, Rabobank had the highest possible rating (Triple A) at three of the four rating agencies. The rating was one step below the highest level at Fitch only. Since then, the rating has been gradually lowered, as it has for almost all banks. This is attributable to the challenging economic conditions in the Netherlands, which impact the creditworthiness of Rabobank. In addition, insights acquired during the financial crisis and adjustments of regulation for banks by supervisors have had an impact on the rating methodologies of the agencies and their outcomes. The bar has been raised considerably for banks.

Rabobank currently has the following long-term ratings (as at January 2017):

Rating agency Long-term rating
Moody's Aa2
S&P A+
Fitch AA-
DBRS AA

An overview of the ratings and corresponding reports is available on Rabobank.com.

Strong position

'With scores like these, Rabobank is still among the highest-rated and most creditworthy banks in the world and our position as a rock-solid bank is confirmed,' says Pauline Bianchi, head of Investor Relations & Rating Agencies. 'However, the quality of our loan portfolio will have to improve if we are to maintain the ratings at the current level. This also applies to efficiency and therefore profitability. The realisation of various strategic programmes will contribute significantly to achieving this.'