Backed by strong economic rebound, Rabobank posts net result of EUR 3,692 million in 2021

The economic rebound relative to 2020 created a tailwind for Rabobank. Although Covid-19 continued to impact society in 2021, government support measures cushioned its hold on the economy, which grew significantly. Improved market conditions led to a net release of loan impairment charges and positive asset revaluations. Rabobank’s business performance was sound, as reflected by the resilient and growing Food & Agri portfolio and dominant position in the Dutch residential mortgage market. In this environment, Rabobank posted a net result of EUR 3,692 million.

Chair of the Managing Board Wiebe Draijer

“Last year was unquestionably marked by the unpredictable character of the Covid-19 pandemic, including the emergence of new variants of the virus and the resulting restrictive measures. Worldwide supply chain challenges, including labor shortages, and increasing inflation were also part of the economic uncertainty. On top of that, 2021 was also marked by severe climate-related events and the IPCC report reiterating the urgency of combatting climate change. However, despite these challenges, we saw economies worldwide recover quickly and better than expected. We also see this recovery reflected in the performance of the majority of our clients and the bank. 

“Our employees showed dedication and resilience in the face of the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, and guided our clients in the challenges they faced. I would like to express my gratitude for their commitment in yet another extraordinary year.

“Whether we are performing our role as financial gatekeeper or enhancing our operating model, we remain focused on creating value for society. We are progressing on our road to reaching the Paris Climate Agreement as you will see in the Impact Report where we describe our “four-step approach.” Together with our clients, we aspire to speed up the vital transitions taking place in food, climate and energy, and toward a more inclusive society.”

Financial performance

Rabobank’s net profit in 2021 was EUR 3,692 million, compared to EUR 1,096 million in 2020. Sound business performance as well as improved market conditions contributed to the bank’s strong 2021 financial results, whereas the 2020 results were significantly impacted by the effects of  Covid-19. 

Due to the economic recovery, the anticipated deterioration in credit quality of Rabobank’s business loan portfolio did not materialize. Instead Rabobank recognized a net release of loan impairment charges on financial assets of EUR 474 million in 2021 (minus 11bps of the average loan portfolio), which is EUR 2,387 million lower than in 2020. The total outstanding exposure to vulnerable sectors further reduced to EUR 9.6 billion (which is 2.3% of the total loan portfolio compared to EUR 15.3 billion (3.7%) in 2020), reflecting Rabobank’s sound asset quality. 

Rabobank’s total income increased by 13%. This increase was supported by positive revaluations of the bank’s equity participations as well as good performance of Rabo Investments’ portfolio. In addition, the participation in the TLTRO III programme resulted in a benefit of EUR 334 million, increasing the net interest income by 4%. Corrected for TLTRO, net interest income would have remained relatively stable as the bank continued to see the low interest rate environment putting pressure on deposit margins in its domestic operations. Largely driven by business growth, net interest income in Wholesale and Rural improved by 11%. Net fee and commission income strongly rebounded compared to 2020 and was EUR 228 million (or 13%) higher. This increase was the result of good performance of the event driven businesses and higher fees related to payment services and investments. 

Expenses were 8% higher. This includes a provision Rabobank has made of EUR 333 million to compensate part of its clients with specific consumer credit products with a variable interest rate. In addition, in response to the severity of the instruction received from DNB, Rabobank will enhance its KYC program in order to remedy the deficiencies within the timeline set by DNB. This requires additional efforts, including resolving backlog files in client due diligence and transaction monitoring, for which a provision of EUR 249 million has been included in Rabobank’s 2021 financial results. 

The loan portfolio increased by EUR 7.8 billion to EUR 417.2 billion, also driven by FX effects. The Food & Agri portfolio increased by 8% to EUR 102.9 billion. Furthermore, Rabobank remained market leader in the Dutch residential mortgage market with a 21% market share of new production. Deposits from retail and wholesale customers increased by EUR 11 billion, while Assets under Management increased by EUR 9.6 billion to EUR 62.5 billion.

The increase in income more than offset the increase in expenses. This resulted in an improved cost/income ratio of 63.8% (2020: 65.8%). Also the Return on Equity improved to 8.8% (2020: 2.7%). Supported by the healthy 2021 financial results Rabobank’s capital position remains strong. With a CET1 ratio of 17.4% the bank comfortably meets its capital requirements and its ambition level of >14%. 

Update KYC

Wiebe Draijer: “In our role as gatekeeper to the financial sector we feel an obligation to protect our customers, members and society from financial crime. It is our strong belief that in a better world there is no place for criminal money obtained from activities such as child labor or the trafficking of drugs, humans or weapons.” From 2016-2021 Rabobank has invested a total amount of EUR 1,600 million in its Know Your Customer (KYC). And the number of employees has grown from around 1,700 in 2016 to currently 4,900 employees. KYC has been and is still one of Rabobank’s top priorities.”

On 15 November 2021 Rabobank announced that a draft instruction (voorgenomen aanwijzing) was received from the Dutch Central Bank (DNB) on 12 October 2021. Subsequently, Rabobank received the instruction (aanwijzing) on 23 December 2021. In this instruction, DNB determines that Rabobank does not meet the requirements of the Dutch Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Act (Wet ter voorkoming van witwassen en financiering van terrorisme, Wwft) and orders Rabobank to remedy deficiencies regarding its Dutch retail division’s compliance with the Wwft by 15 December 2023 at the latest. Rabobank also announced on 15 November 2021 that DNB informed the bank that a separate punitive enforcement procedure would commence, the outcome of which is not yet known. 

“While we have made improvements, we acknowledge that we have not yet remedied the deficiencies in order to adequately meet the requirements of the Wwft,” states Draijer. “We are set to continue and increase our efforts to build a robust and future-proof KYC organization. To reinforce this, we will create a new position within the Managing Board with a specific focus on KYC compliance.”

Outlook

“The economic environment ultimately turned out to be benign for most of 2021,” says Draijer. “However, that is no guarantee for this year. Our clients remain confronted by disruptions to supply chains, rising energy prices, and increasing inflation, while also working to meet our shared climate goals. These impactful developments have not halted. Additionally, Covid-19 remains among us, and each new wave or variant of the virus – and the government’s corresponding restrictive measures – affects our clients and the credit quality of our loan portfolio. We also have to assume further impact from the persisting low interest rate environment and geopolitical tensions. Overall, we remain cautious with respect to the operating environment in 2022 and the years to come.”

“In this operating environment, our focus as a cooperative bank remains more than ever on the transitions in food, climate and energy, and working towards a more inclusive society. As such, we recover and regenerate – we are “Growing a better world together” – for both current and future generations.”

More information about our results and reports can be found at: Results and reports - Rabobank

For more information, please contact:
Rabobank Press Office
+31 (0) 30 216 2758 or pressoffice@rabobank.nl
 
Rabobank Investor Relations
+31 (0)30 712 2401 or IR@rabobank.com


Elements of this press release are considered by Rabobank as inside information relating directly or indirectly to Rabobank within the meaning of article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU Regulation 596/2014) that is made public in accordance with article 17 Market Abuse Regulation.

Published: February 10 2022, 07:30 CET

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