press releases https://www.rabobank.com/Corporate/en/press/rss.html press releases en <![CDATA[Dutch government and Rabobank announce anchor investments in AGRI3 Fund]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2020/20200123-dutch-government-and-rabobank-announce-anchor-investments-in-agri3-fund.html?utm_medium=RSS The USD 1 billion sustainable agriculture and forestry initiative “AGRI3” has been strengthened by two new cornerstone investors. On January 23, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it will become an anchor public investor in the AGRI3 Fund by contributing USD 40 million. At the World Economic Forum in Davos Rabobank stated it will match this amount. Together these contributions will mobilize commercial finance, which can be used to finance sustainable agriculture and accelerate forest protection.

A growing demand for food is placing land and forests under tremendous strain. Seven million hectares of tropical forests disappear annually and emissions related to agriculture and tropical forest loss contribute 24% to total global greenhouse gas emissions: more than cars and planes combined. The AGRI3 Fund was created by UN Environment Programme and Rabobank, together with partner IDH and supported by FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, to mitigate climate change.

HE Sigrid Kaag, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation: “The AGRI3 Fund provides a unique opportunity to contribute to forest protection and sustainable agriculture at scale, while also helping to transform the financial sector’s attitude towards sustainable investments.”

The fund acts as a blended finance vehicle aimed at unlocking at least USD 1 billion in finance. It provides additional de-risking financial instruments and grants for technical assistance for food value chain actors, and, particularly, farmers. “As a cooperative bank, we see it as our role to help our clients accomplish the required shift in the agricultural value chains,” says Wiebe Draijer, chairman of the Managing Board of Rabobank. “The Dutch government supporting our partnership is a more than welcome complement. Together with our contribution, I’m utterly convinced these combined contributions will spur this shift.”

“AGRI3 and similar land use facilities, catalyzed with the support of UNEP, are the cornerstone of the financial architecture for deforestation-free and nature-positive agriculture,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP. “We are very grateful to the Dutch government for their crucial contribution to the AGRI3 Fund. It is time for banks, investors, governments and agribusinesses to join institutions like Rabobank in financing sustainable food and forestry value chains, to save the climate, protect biodiversity, and ensure sustainable development.”

The AGRI3 Fund will be a role model for banks and other financial institutions and is open for other banks and investors to join. The UN Sustainable Development Goals agenda urgently requires sustainable agriculture initiatives at scale. The Dutch government grant will help unlock further resources from impact investors and financiers. Farmers and food producers who would not normally have access to these resources now have an alternative to finance their investments in sustainable food production.

Now that the Dutch government has approved the USD 40 million grant, the AGRI3 Fund will be up and running in the first half of 2020. Mirova Natural Capital, FOUNT and Cardano Development will act as investment advisors. The fund will be open to participation by commercial banks aiming at sustainable agriculture and forest conservation. Linked to the fund, a dedicated Technical Assistance facility will be established, which will be managed by IDH. The AGRI3 TA facility will provide support to help potential projects become investment ready. It will also strengthen impact tracking and knowledge sharing from the AGRI3 Fund and its investees to spur growth of sustainable land use investments globally. Potential clients and stakeholders can contact agri3@althelia.com for additional information.

Published: 23 January 2020, 11:00 CET

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Press release Thu, 23 Jan 2020 09:30:00 GMT 264559
<![CDATA[Rabo Frontier Ventures invests in online UK mortgage broker Trussle]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2020/20200120-rabo-frontier-ventures-invests-in-online-uk-mortgage-broker-trussle.html?utm_medium=RSS Rabo Frontier Ventures (RFV), the strategic investment fund of Rabobank, is investing in online UK mortgage broker Trussle. RFV participated in the funding round of £7.5m alongside existing investors, Goldman Sachs Growth, Finch Capital and San Francisco-based Propel Venture partners.

This round of funding demonstrates investors’ confidence in the opportunity to revolutionise the UK mortgage market. Every year, millions of people in the UK are subject to unnecessary costs, delays and frustrations when trying to get a mortgage. Trussle is utilising technology to disrupt the market, making the mortgage experience fairer, faster and easier. The online mortgage broker has grown rapidly over the last year, amplifying its mission to make mortgages fairer and almost doubling the volume of customers.

Trussle Chairman, Simon Williams, commented: “Owning a home should mean stability and freedom. Unfortunately, the reality is that finding a mortgage often creates stress, inconvenience and unfair treatment. Since Trussle launched in December 2015, we’ve helped thousands of homeowners get onto the property ladder and reduce their mortgage payments by switching to the right deal. But there’s ample work to be done in revolutionizing the archaic industry.”

Williams continued: “Our business is at a pivotal stage in its journey and this new funding will enable us to accelerate our progress, especially through investment in our technology, to make the mortgage process quicker, easier and more transparent. The funding from our investors not only exemplifies the progress we’ve made so far, but also the scale of the opportunity that lies ahead.”

Harrie Vollaard Managing Director of RFV, commented: “Getting a mortgage is a complex process and is one of the biggest pain points of the financial industry. Trussle is leading the way in reshaping the way people interact with their mortgage by utilising technology to make mortgages smarter, faster and fairer. We’re looking forward to working closely with Trussle on the next phase of their journey to redesign the mortgage application process, as well as additional services to better support their customers through the home ownership journey.”

RFV is a €150 million investment fund of Rabobank, focusing globally on innovative fintech and agtech companies. RFV aims to invest in the early growth stage (series B) of companies that are disrupting or influencing the current business of the Rabobank. As an investor RFV strives to share in-depth knowledge in order to add value to portfolio companies.

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Press release Mon, 20 Jan 2020 09:30:00 GMT 264470
<![CDATA[The PCAF Dutch group unveils a new carbon accounting report at COP25]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2019/20191211-pcaf-cop25-climate.html?utm_medium=RSS In their latest report, presented Wednesday at the climate summit in Madrid, 17 Dutch financial institutions including Rabobank show the progress that has been made with the carbon accounting method of the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF). New asset classes have been added to the methodology and new tools are available for the growing number of financial companies who want to use the PCAF methodology. Participating institutions in the Netherlands represent €2 trillion of assets under management, many of whom already publicly disclose the associated carbon footprint.

The Dutch group pioneered the development of a methodology to assess the carbon emissions of financial institution’s loans and investments. This groundbreaking approach has been the catalyst for a global movement of institutions who assess their emissions with a view, ultimately, to align their impact with the Paris Climate Goals.

Triodos Bank’s Spanish Managing Director, Mikel Garcia, and FMO Jorim Schraven, Director of Impact and ESG at Dutch development bank, FMO, presented the report, Accounting CHG emissions and taking action: harmonized approach for the financial sector in the Netherlands, to Marcel Beukeboom, Climate Emissary of the Dutch government during the climate summit in Madrid.

Align portfolio with Paris climate agreement
PCAF chair Piet Sprengers (ASN Bank): “PCAF plays an important role in allowing the financial sector to make the transition to a positive, low carbon future. By making their CO2 emissions transparent, financial companies are taking a very important step to ultimately align their portfolio with the Paris Climate Agreement. Today’s report shows that PCAF provides a simple and powerful way to start measuring and reporting on their climate impact. We call on the financial sector to start assessing the emissions of their loans and investments, to reduce their finance of fossil assets and actively support the transition to a low carbon economy of the future.”

Rabobank
Wiebe Draijer, chairman of the Managing Board of Rabobank, about the report: ‘We welcome this report as a further development of the measurement of the carbon footprint of banks’ balance sheets. To meet the Dutch Climate Agreement and the Paris goals it is required that our clients and society at large halve the emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 level.  PCAF can help to make the challenge visible and to monitor progress. ‘
In the report, Rabobank describes an initial exploration of the credit portfolio of its local banks. The results are further improved with in collaboration with RIVM and CBS.

Global movement
PCAF started in the Netherlands in 2015, when ASN Bank took this initiative during the climate summit in Paris. Eleven Dutch financial institutions joined this first effort of its kind by the financial industry, for the financial industry. PCAF has now become a worldwide standard. To date, 57 financial institutions from around the world have joined and committed to measure and report on their CO2 emissions. They represent $3.5 trillion in total assets.
The ambition of PCAF is to grow this number to 100 institutions worldwide within three years. In the future, the group believes that measuring and disclosing CO2 impact should become common practice across the entire financial sector.

Science based targets
An important next step in the development of PCAF is to use insights from assessing greenhouse gas emissions to set science-based targets. These targets will help ensure financial institutions play their part in keeping the global increase in temperature within safe levels.

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Press release Wed, 11 Dec 2019 18:10:49 GMT 263828
<![CDATA[Rabo Foundation wins Inclusive Finance India Award]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2019/20191206-inclusive-finance-india-awards-2019.html?utm_medium=RSS Rabo Foundation in India received the Inclusive Finance India Awards 2019 in the category: Contribution to Advancing Financial Inclusion in India by an Enabling Institution on December 4th. This is recognition for the foundation’s many years of work and dedication in India. Rabo Foundation was presented with the award for its efforts to support and economically strengthen smallholder farmers in India.

Representing Rabo Foundation was Rishabh Sood, Dheeraj Mutreja and Bram Spann, who received the award at the hands of Dr. Krishnamurthy Subramanian, Chief Economic Advisor, Government of India while the award citation was presented by Mr. Surendra Rosha, CEO, HSBC India. The award recognizes Rabo Foundation’s many years of dedication to improving the lives of smallholder farmers in India. Rishabh Sood, Relationship Manager, Rural & Development Banking, accepted the award. Sood: ‘We would like to thank ACCESS Development and HSBC India for this award. It is an acknowledgement for Rabo Foundation’s work in India. Over the years, Rabo Foundation has largely played a facilitative role in the sector, which implies that a huge credit must go to our partners which include Farmer Producer Organizations, Producer Organization Promoting Institutions, Lending Partners, service providers and last but certainly not the least - the farming community. We look forward to continue our journey with an ultimate aim of improving the position of smallholder farmers and in the process would be open for collaboration with other like-minded institutions.’

Rabo Foundation seeks to support smallholder farmers’ aggregate into cooperative producer organizations and strengthens them to make them operationally and financially sustainable. This helps generate sustainable livelihoods for farmers so as to increase their income levels. Rabo Foundation is focused on strengthening the upstream value chains (closer to the farmer) and reduces the length of the chain connecting different stakeholders.

Rabo Foundation through its grant and credit guarantee products have provided support to farmers organizations and SMEs that actively engage with smallholder farmers in India. Since 2008, Rabo Foundation has supported 165 projects having allocation of ~ EUR 31 million in India. ‘While India is a global leader in microfinance, and urban fintech is also well developed, Rabo Foundation has been able to unlock mainstream capital for arguably the most difficult segment, small holder farmers and their entities through innovative structures. The recognition is for this effort’, said Arindom Datta, Executive Director & Head, Rural & Development Banking.

The Inclusive Finance India Awards are presented on the inaugural day of the Inclusive Finance India Summit and is an initiative of ACCESS institutionalized in partnership with HSBC India. The recipients of the award include individuals and institutions that have indefatigably worked towards promoting sector goals of financial inclusion and in supporting inclusive growth. Rabo Foundation now has a place on this distinguished list of winners as a recipient of the award in the category ‘Contribution to Advancing Financial Inclusion in India by an Enabling Institution’.

Published: 6 December 2019, 09:00 CET

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Press release Fri, 06 Dec 2019 14:05:14 GMT 263757
<![CDATA[Rabobank's fintech scale-up TreasurUp partners with KBC]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2019/20191203-rabobanks-fintech-scale-up-treasurup-partners-with-kbc.html?utm_medium=RSS Rabobank’s fintech scale-up TreasurUp has signed a contract with the Belgian KBC Group. TreasurUp offers a white-label treasury platform. KBC is the third major bank to work with TreasurUp, following successful partnerships with Rabobank and the Finnish OP Financial Group.

The partnership with KBC will start off with a completely new online foreign exchange environment, accessible through web and mobile, which KBC will offer to its medium-sized corporate clients. The bank sees great value in the platform’s ability to apply hedging strategies which their corporate clients can benefit from. If the launch proves successful in Belgium, the partnership may grow into international expansion within KBC Group.

KBC and TreasurUp strive for the same positive response as from treasurers and CFO's from similar corporate users in the Netherlands and Finland. "The fast pace of innovation that TreasurUp offers is unique and specifically tailored to corporate end-users. This is something the bank increasingly seeks in its partners," according to Patrick Roppe, General Manager Financial Markets KBC Group.

TreasurUp, previously known as Easytrade, is a venture of Rabobank. The founders were one of three winning teams of the bank's global "Moonshot" innovation campaign in 2016. Since then, it has developed into an integrated platform for online treasury insights and execution initiation that can be implemented by banks for their corporate users around the world. TreasurUp offers online foreign exchange hedging and is developing new modules on foreign exchange payments and liquidity management and assert base finance. "TreasurUp has proven to meet a clear demand in the market. Nowadays, we are talking to the largest banks around the world and they really like our approach and the proven results of our platform. We are about to spin out from the bank. As an independent entity we believe we can even move faster, which is necessary in this market", according to Niels van Daatselaar, CEO of TreasurUp.

KBC Group N.V. is a Belgian universal multi-channel bank-insurer that focuses on private clients and small and medium-sized enterprises in Belgium, Ireland, Central Europe and South-East Asia. KBC was formed in 1998 after the merger of two Belgian banks (Kredietbank and CERA Bank) and a Belgian insurance company (ABB Insurance). Its network consists of 1,400 bank branches, insurance sales via own agents and other channels, and various electronic channels. KBC's core markets are Belgium, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Ireland. It is also present, to some extent, in other countries. The group currently has 42,000 employees.

Published: 3 December 2019, 09:00 CET

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Press release Tue, 03 Dec 2019 08:15:00 GMT 263704
<![CDATA[Rabobank data in EBA publication]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2019/20191129-rabobank-data-in-EBA-publication.html?utm_medium=RSS Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A. notes the announcements made today by the European Banking Authority and the European Central Bank (ECB) regarding the information of the 2019 EU-wide Transparency Exercise and fulfilment of the EBA Board of Supervisors' decision.

At its meeting in April 2019, the EBA Board of Supervisors approved the package for the 2019 EU-wide Transparency Exercise, which since 2016 is performed on an annual basis and published along with the Risk Assessment Report (RAR). The annual Transparency Exercise will be based solely on COREP/FINREP data on the form and scope to assure a sufficient and appropriate level of information to market participants.

The templates were centrally filled in by the EBA and sent afterwards for verification by banks and supervisors. Banks had the chance to correct any errors detected and to resubmit correct data through the regular supervisory reporting channels.

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Press release Fri, 29 Nov 2019 18:15:00 GMT 263674
<![CDATA[45 years of investing in a sustainable future in the Netherlands and beyond]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2019/20191122-45-years-of-investing-in-a-sustainable-future-in-the-netherlands-and-beyond.html?utm_medium=RSS Rabo Foundation celebrated its 45th anniversary in Amsterdam on Thursday, November 21. Established in 1974, the Foundation is dedicated to improving future prospects for vulnerable populations worldwide by investing in their self-sufficiency. Its support remains as vital today as ever. In 2018, Rabo Foundation reached 3.3 million smallholder farmers in 22 countries. In the Netherlands, 1,172 people found jobs with one of the social enterprises with which the fund cooperates, and 128,740 people received training to help them lead financially healthy lives.

“The idea that ‘We are stronger together’ has long been part of Rabobank’s cooperative ethos, and it is also the philosophy behind Rabo Foundation,” said the Foundation’s Managing Director, Pim Mol. “By investing in their self-sufficiency, we aim to improve the lives of smallholder farmers abroad and vulnerable populations in the Netherlands. The reasoning behind our approach is that financial independence can have ripple effects, including local economic development, social welfare and positive environmental outcomes. In developing countries, smallholder farmers are often regarded as ‘unbankable.’ That is, they present too great a risk for traditional banks to take them on as customers. If we provide them with a loan, they can gain financial independence after some time and will eventually be able to open bank accounts in their own country.”

Over more than four decades, Rabo Foundation has addressed social and economic challenges such as food security, social inclusion and poverty around the world. Working with farming cooperatives and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the Foundation currently reaches millions of smallholder farmers in Africa, Asia and Latin America. By providing loans, knowledge and expertise, the Foundation supports more than 369 organizations in over 20 countries. Its endowment over the past 45 years has grown from 900,000 Dutch guilders to EUR 35 million a year.

Rabo Foundation also operates in the Netherlands, where it invests in social enterprises and organizations with the objective of improving financial literacy and access to the labor market for people who are eager to work but struggle to find employment. “Having a stable financial position has a huge impact on people’s lives and wellbeing,” Mol continued. “For many people in the Netherlands, financial self-sufficiency is not a given. We use our network to work on this issue together with several of our partners.”

The Foundation started out in 1974 as the Stichting Steun door Rabobanken (Rabobank Support Foundation/SSR) with just three employees and an endowment of 900,000 guilders. It was created from the merger of the Raiffeisen- and Boerenleenbanken development funds, both established in the 1960s. Supporting vulnerable farmers in emerging economies to achieve self-sufficiency and helping insecure populations in the Netherlands to attain financial health has been part of Rabo Foundation’s mission from the very outset – a mission to which it has remained true to this day.

In 2017, Rabo Foundation received the international Jacques Diouf Award from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in acknowledgement of its many years of dedication to supporting and boosting the economies of small farming communities in developing nations.

For further information about Rabo Foundation and its projects, please visit the Rabo Foundation website.

Published: 22 November 2019, 11:00 CET

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Press release Fri, 22 Nov 2019 10:31:23 GMT 263635
<![CDATA[Global risks give farmers no respite in 2020 – Rabobank ]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2019/20191120-global-risks-give-farmers-no-respite-in-2020-rabobank.html?utm_medium=RSS Millions of the world’s farmers face spending 2020 impoverished because of persistent geopolitical risks and intense price pressures, according to Rabobank’s annual Outlook report.

  • US-China trade war, fallout from African swine fever and low prices among headwinds affecting agri-commodity farmers next year
  • Millions of coffee and sugar farmers face impoverished livelihoods. Although Rabobank sees prices increasing in 2020, coffee and sugar will still trade below cost of production during much of the year. 
  • Soybeans, coffee and sugar among key commodities to watch in 2020

The specialist food and agribusiness bank predicts that headwinds, including a potential continuation or escalation in the US-China trade war, further increases in productivity on the back of more benign global weather, and the ongoing impact of African swine fever (ASF) will mean farmers continue to operate amid uncertainty in 2020 after years of relatively low prices.

The prices of grains and oilseeds next year will be driven by geopolitics, particularly trade wars, while coffee and sugar prices are likely to recover from decade lows, Rabobank forecasts.

  • The soybean, the unlikely symbol of the US-China trade war, will continue to be at the mercy of the dispute. If an agreement is reached, China – which needs soybeans as it begins to replenish its ASF-ravaged pig herds – is likely to commit to buying large volumes of US agricultural products. Conversely, should trade tensions deteriorate, Beijing may cut US soybean imports, dealing a potentially devastating blow to US farmers. In that scenario, farmers in Brazil would benefit as China relies instead on the South American nation for its soybean imports.
  • The oversupply of coffee, and low prices in 2019 have pushed millions of farmers – mostly in Central America, east Africa and Southeast Asia – into poverty. Strong production in Brazil, where farmers are helped by a weaker real, created a global surplus, meaning much of the world is selling coffee beans at below cost of production. But now Rabobank expects production outside Brazil to decline at a time of strong demand. Discerning consumers may be faced with a more limited choice of coffee.
  • In the case of sugar, the market is rebalancing from large surpluses to the first deficit in four years following adverse weather in India and Thailand. Meanwhile, Brazil continues to maximise ethanol production over sugar.

Stefan Vogel, global strategist and head of agri-commodity markets at Rabobank, said: “There is no doubt that the world’s farmers have endured a difficult year with headwinds caused by geopolitical tensions, disease and weather. Yet sadly for them, 2020 looks like offering no immediate respite.”

“In the worst-case scenario, coffee farmers face the prospect of stubbornly low prices while trade tariffs threaten soybean farmers. Taken together, these factors could severely worsen the economic situation of farms in various regions of the world.”

“The hope is that the worst does not occur. In a more favourable scenario, the US and China resolve their trade dispute, China begins to replenish pork herds, stimulating demand for soybeans, and the coffee market rebalances, increasing the prices paid to farmers for their beans.”

Rabobank predicts a “significant risk” of a US recession in the second half of 2020. A downturn in the world’s largest economy could reduce global demand for consumer staples such as coffee and cocoa.

But the most notable effect could be a synchronised global slowdown, translating into weaker currencies in key commodity-producing countries, particularly emerging markets. This would put pressure on the prices of several key agri-commodities. A weaker Brazilian real, for example, would stymie the expected recovery in coffee and sugar prices.

Stefan Vogel added: “In any given year there are many different factors at play affecting global commodity markets. But in an increasingly uncertain world, farmers and consumers alike are becoming accustomed to supply and price volatility. That situation is unlikely to change in 2020.”

Rabobank’s Outlook, this year titled Supply Slide Saves Grounded Demand, tracks the prospects for a basket of 10 key agri-commodities in the following year. It is widely read and followed in the world’s agri commodity markets.

Published: 20 November 2019, 13:00 CET

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Press release Wed, 20 Nov 2019 13:00:00 GMT 263623
<![CDATA[Rabo Frontier Ventures partners with Northzone’s Fund IX]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2019/20191118-rabo-frontier-ventures-partners-with-northzones-fund-ix.html?utm_medium=RSS Rabo Frontier Ventures (“RFV") has committed to Northzone’s brand new venture fund (Northzone IX). Northzone Ventures (“Northzone” or the “Firm”) is a leading European technology investment firm and has been investing in technology companies for 23 years.

Northzone has a pan-European focus and operates from its bases in the UK and the Nordics. The firm also has a New York presence, and makes investments in select verticals in the US. Its team is widely regarded as being highly experienced with privileged access to some of the world’s best entrepreneurs. Northzone has a history of strong performance with many successful deals and exits such as Spotify, iZettle and Avito.

“Northzone is a great partner and our commitment to their fund will give a good first indication of the fund of funds (FoF) strategy that we follow. This year we started with our early stage FoF strategy in order to generate relevant deal flow for our direct fund and to institutionalise existing relations with top performing VC funds. Our commitment in Northzone’s brand new venture fund marks the start of the execution of this strategy. Part of our strategy is also to leverage knowledge of Rabobank and to make it accessible for Northzone and its portfolio companies. Herewith creating a platform in order to add value to our VC partners and their portfolio companies”, said Jeroen van Doornik, partner at RFV.

Northzone is an early stage venture capital fund, founded in 1996. It is one of the most experienced venture capital funds in Europe, and operates from its offices in Stockholm, London, New York and Oslo.

Northzone has raised 9 funds to date, and with the latest fund, the firm has raised a total of €1.5 billion. Over the past 2 decades, Northzone has invested in over 150 companies, including seminal names in European tech such as Spotify, iZettle, Klarna, Avito, Trustpilot, lastminute.com, Stepstone, Zopa and others.

Northzone’s focus is on disruptive technology companies and the fund makes investments across Europe and the US East Coast. The latest fund, Norhthzone IX, will back strong-minded entrepreneurs building category leading businesses in both the consumer and enterprise segments. The fund will invest at Series A and B stage, with selective seed bets also a part of the strategy.

RFV is a €150 million investment fund of Rabobank, focusing globally on innovative Fintech and Agtech companies. RFV aims to invest directly in the early growth stage (series B) of companies that are disrupting or influencing the current business of the Rabobank and invest indirect in leading general tech funds.

Published: 18 November 2019, 17:00 CET

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Press release Mon, 18 Nov 2019 15:00:00 GMT 263609
<![CDATA[Rabobank Global Animal Protein Outlook 2020]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2019/20191113-rabobank-global-animal-protein-outlook-2020.html?utm_medium=RSS RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness published its annual global animal protein outlook today. In general, African swine fever (ASF) overwhelms the outlook for 2020 – as it has done during 2019 – and will pull down overall growth, as well as bring uncertainty to all markets. In short, in 2020, the global animal protein sector faces an uncertain world, which also offers opportunities for some.

Justin Sherrard, Global Strategist Animal Protein at RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness, summarizes what 2020 will bring: “Besides the impact of ASF, many trade disputes and issues are causing uncertainty for global animal protein, with the US-China trade war the most apparent – but not the only – trade uncertainty. In addition, the ongoing rise of alternative proteins also adds to the uncertainty – even though Rabobank has a less bullish view of alternatives than others do.”

The report also covers sustainability developments, which are slightly less prominent than the above issues. However, says Sherrard: “In our view, sustainability is just as important as other areas of uncertainty, as it will shape the growth of animal protein production and consumption through the 2020s.”

Despite the uncertainties, there are also opportunities. “The most obvious area of opportunity in global animal protein is the recovery from ASF, which, in Rabobank’s view, will extend through the 2020s. Winning on sustainability is another opportunity, which can be achieved by harnessing the supply chain and moving ahead of market signals. Finally, investing to secure ongoing trade flows can also be an opportunity, as this can reduce some of the uncertainty and secure continuous market access”, concludes Sherrard.

Rabobank expects growth in most regions in 2020, but the impact of ASF in Asia overwhelms the outlook. In particular, China’s production losses will exceed the growth in all other regions combined. Across species, aquaculture and poultry will lead production growth in 2020, while beef will be stable, and wild-catch seafood will decline again. All of these changes are minor compared with the production decline in pork.

With regard to seafood, RaboResearch expects a modest growth of salmon supply, with Norway expected to be the main, albeit modest, supply driver in 2020. The shrimp industry is also set for growth, despite low prices, with Ecuador, followed by Vietnam and Indonesia, leading production gains. The fishmeal market sees both lower supply and lower demand in 2020. ASF has impacted the demand for fishmeal in piglet feed in China, countering the effect of lower supply in 2019. Rabobank expects a similar pattern for 2020.

North America: Rabobank expects production for all species to rise in 2020 – led by pork, followed by poultry, and finally beef. While domestic consumption will grow, exports will need to pick up to manage this production growth.

Brazil: Production growth is expected for all species in 2020. Export opportunities are the main driver, although domestic demand is also improving.

Europe: Poultry and pork production are set to rise, driven by export opportunities. Beef production is expected to decline, in response to soft consumption.

China: ASF dominates the outlook, with a further decline in pork production in 2020. Production will grow for all other species, given the pork shortage and prices at high levels.

South-East Asia: ASF is already affecting pork production and is expected to spread further in 2020, impacting production. Poultry production will again rise strongly in 2020, partly in response to ASF. Beef production remains flat, but imports are on the rise.

Australia & New Zealand: Tight livestock inventories in Australia will see beef production down and sheepmeat production stable in 2020, with firm prices for both. Rabobank expects New Zealand’s beef and sheepmeat production to rise, with favorable price levels.

Published: 13 November 2019, 08:30 CET

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Press release Wed, 13 Nov 2019 08:30:00 GMT 263517
<![CDATA[Apple Pay coming to Rabobank’s customers]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2019/20191105-apple-pay-coming-to-rabobanks-customers.html?utm_medium=RSS Rabobank today brings its Dutch customers Apple Pay, which helps them to make payment in an easy, secure and private way. With Apple Pay on iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad customers can do fast and convenient payments in stores, in apps and on websites. Activation of Apple Pay can be made via the Rabo Banking App by adding the debit card to the Wallet-functionality. Apple Pay works wherever it is possible to do contactless payments and in many webshops and apps: a new step in fast and secure mobile payment for customers.

Michiel Kwaaitaal, Director of Payments at Rabobank: "We are glad that our customers can start using Apple Pay from now on. New in the Netherlands is that we also make the use of Apple Pay possible for self-employed professionals. It is another new way to make banking easier and faster, wherever you are. Now that Apple Pay is available, we expect an enormous boost for mobile payments.”

Apple Pay is easy to set up. With a few clicks, users are able to select Apple Pay in their Rabo Banking App. The next step is selecting the correct payment account and the debit card can be added to the Wallet app.

With their iPhone and Apple Watch, customers can pay with Apple Pay in stores, restaurants, taxis, vending machines and many more places. When shopping in apps or on the web in Safari with Apple Pay, there’s no need to manually fill out lengthy account forms or repeatedly type in shipping and billing information. Every Apple Pay purchase is authenticated with just a glance or a touch with Face ID or Touch ID, or a device's passcode.

Security and privacy are at the core of Apple Pay. When you use a credit or debit card with Apple Pay, the actual card numbers are not stored on the device, nor on Apple servers. Instead, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored in the Secure Element on your device. Each transaction is authorized with a one-time unique dynamic security code.

Rabobank is working on the release of Apple Pay for SMEs.

Read more about Apple Pay and Rabobank on Rabobank.nl (Dutch)
For more information on Apple Pay visit Apple.com

Published: 5 November 2019, 10:00 CET

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Press release Tue, 05 Nov 2019 15:00:00 GMT 263409
<![CDATA[Rabobank and Banco Pichincha join forces to foster rural and agricultural development in Ecuador]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2019/20191022-rabobank-and-banco-pichincha-join-forces-to-foster-rural-and-agricultural-development-in-ecuador.html?utm_medium=RSS Banco Pichincha and Rabobank have entered into a strategic partnership. The cooperation agreement focuses on fostering rural development, strengthening Banco Pichincha’s approach towards the Food & Agricultural sector in Ecuador and reinforcing its capabilities on digitization and data management.

Rabobank, through its subsidiary Rabo Partnerships, entered into this partnership with Banco Pichincha, the leading bank in Ecuador. During the last quarter of 2019, both entities signed an agreement to provide access to Rabobank’s agricultural banking knowledge, experience and networks. Rabo Partnerships has a track record in contributing to the development of well-functioning and inclusive financial systems in emerging markets through a long-term perspective. This is accomplished by building strong locally rooted financial service providers serving (M)SMEs, larger business clients, the rural sector and clients who have not previously had access to financial services.

“The strategic partnership with Rabobank will boost our contribution to improve the economic conditions in rural areas, especially in the micro-finance segment. Now, with a broader vision, we expect to become a strong financial player and support anchor companies in the Agriculture sector by integrating value chains in order to compete in the international arena. Our senior management has expressed its ambition to pick up this challenge. This is also a part of our responsibility as the largest and longstanding bank of Ecuador”, says Mr. Antonio Acosta, president of Banco Pichincha.

The global food and agriculture sector faces a major challenge: how to provide a growing, aging and wealthier world population with enough, healthy and sustainably produced food. “Rabobank’s commitment to invest and build strong financial service providers in emerging economies is in line with its “Banking for Food” strategy, which is aimed at providing access to its knowledge, finances and networks”, says Mrs. Marianne Schoemaker, managing director of Rabo Partnerships.

In terms of digitization, Banco Pichincha developed a mobile-based app that captures more than 120 data fields during its micro-finance sales process. This generates a large amount of data that can be used to establish a clear client risk profile for the F&A sector. According to Banco Pichincha, the scope of the agreement will help them to develop new credit policies, credit assessment and specialized training for their team. This approach also includes the creation of customer-based products and a non-financial offer, which simultaneously will contribute to increasing financial inclusion in the agricultural sector.

The agricultural potential in emerging countries is significant. The Latin American region is an important net exporter of food and agricultural commodities, accounting for 16% of the total global food and agriculture exports and 4% of the total food and agriculture imports. “To help unlock further potential for future global food production, Rabobank aspires to provide support to financial institutions and other players in agricultural value chains worldwide to enable them to increase the production, efficiency and to become more sustainable”, according to Mrs. Schoemaker.

The Ecuadorian economy is mainly based on the production and export of its natural resources. The agricultural sector has a strong impact on exports and, therefore, in the economic growth of the country. “Although the country has an enormous and diversified agricultural and food potential, only 8.1% of Ecuador’s GDP is generated by the F&A sector”, according to Mr. Acosta.

Banco Pichincha, the largest financial institution in Ecuador, supports the small producers and micro-entrepreneurs of the country with its comprehensive microfinance offer, for which it has received important international recognition such as the Smart Campaign Client Protection Certificate, the Best Private Bank and the Best Issuing Bank Partner for Women award. Its permanent pursuit of a positive impact on society makes Banco Pichincha the natural ally with whom Rabobank will promote a project of these dimensions in Ecuador.

Rabobank’s roots are in Dutch agriculture, a sector that today has an excellent reputation worldwide. The Netherlands is considered to be one of the most productive and efficient food producers in the world, often taking the lead in innovation. Despite its small size, the country is among the world’s largest exporters of agricultural products and a leader in food quality. Rabobank has played an important role in the development of Dutch agriculture and horticulture and has been leveraging its experience and expertise for international food and agri-chains for decades.

Banco Pichincha Press Office, Mr. Abel Castillo, castillo@pichincha.com, +593 22505552
Rabobank Press Office, Mr. Norbert Cappetti, pressoffice@rabobank.nl, +31(0)6214622 26

Published: 22 October 2019, 15:00 CET

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Press release Tue, 22 Oct 2019 15:00:00 GMT 263196
<![CDATA[Rabo Frontier Ventures invests in mobile business platform Tide through Anthemis Group]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2019/20191018-rabo-frontier-ventures-invests-in-mobile-business-platform.html?utm_medium=RSS Rabo Frontier Ventures (RFV) has invested in the Tide series B investment round, led by SBI Group and Augment. The RFV deal was structured through an SPV that is managed by Anthemis Group, a major early stage investor in Tide and one of the most active fintech investors.

Tide is the fastest-growing SME business banking platform in the UK*. It provides an agile banking service designed specifically for SMEs and sole traders to help them save time and money, while providing them with seamless access to a curated offering of the best financial products sourced from third party partners. With Tide, customers can manage their accounts without the need to visit a branch as Tide is mobile first (not mobile only) and everything can be managed through the app or the web browser. The platform approach makes Tide unique and creates significant value add services in cooperation with other leading fintech companies through integrations with a.o. Xero and Sage for accounting and Iwoca for lending.

Tide’s vision is to create a market-leading digital banking platform targeting a UK market share of 8% within 4 years. The underlying market dynamics are robust with the SME banking market ripe for disruption. The demand for better customer service, lower costs and less bureaucracy is driving the need for improved infrastructure and modern business banking services. These circumstances resulted in the rapid growth of Tide, which already surpassed the 100.000 users.

Last week, Tide announced the closing of a significant series B round of £44m led by the Japanese The SBI Group and Augmentum Fintech plc. The funding will help Tide substantially increase its share of the UK business banking market, as well as to support the Company’s planned international expansion. Earlier this year, Tide and its partner, ClearBank secured a £60 million grant (US$74 million) from the RBS Alternative Remedies Package. Tide subsequently committed to raise an additional £60 million (US$74million) in upcoming funding rounds. Including the BCR grant, this will take the total capital raised by Tide to more than £130 million (US$160 million) to fuel its growth plans.
*Tide is not a bank, but a business banking platform and the leading digital challenger in business banking services.

Anthemis is an early stage investor in Tide and one of the most active fintech investors. Anthemis invested in the seed round of Tide in December 2016. Sean Park is Founder, Chief Investment Officer of Anthemis has a board seat at Tide.

RFV is a €150 million investment fund of Rabobank, focusing globally on innovative fintech and agtech companies. RFV aims to invest in the early growth stage (series B) of companies that are disrupting or influencing the current business of the Rabobank. As an investor RFV strives to share in-depth knowledge in order to add value to portfolio companies. “This investment in Tide will generate valuable insights regarding innovation and development in SME banking and further gives us the opportunity to work together with Anthemis and alongside existing investors such as LocalGlobe”, according to Jeroen van Doornik, Partner at RFV.

RFV and Rabobank will use these insights in order to better serve its own customers. Both RFV and Rabobank are looking forward to the cooperation with Tide and Anthemis.

Published: 15 October 2019, 10:30 CET

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Press release Fri, 18 Oct 2019 09:41:52 GMT 263153
<![CDATA[Stellapps Technologies wins SustainableAg challenge Rabobank Asia]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2019/20191010_sustainableag_asia.html?utm_medium=RSS Stellapps Technologies of India won Rabobank’s SustainableAg Asia Challenge, the food and agri banking leader’s pioneering platform for agri-tech start-ups and innovators across the region to showcase innovative solutions to drive integrity and interconnectivity throughout Asia’s vital agriculture and food supply chains.

It topped a shortlist of 14 companies that participated in a marathon Pitch Day, presenting their solutions to a judging panel comprising senior management of Rabobank Foundation, as well as senior representatives of SustainableAg Asia Challenge partner companies ADB Ventures, Archer Daniels Midland, Bayer, Bits & Bites, COFCO International, DSM, Future Group, Olam International, and Temasek.

The India-based company impressed the judging panel with its SmartMoo solution. “Our application is aimed at driving digitization of the dairy sector through captured data from the entire supply chain, significantly enhancing income, profitability and yield per cow of farmers in emerging economies,” said Umesh Parjapat, Program Manager at Stellapps Technologies.

Stellapps Technologies and four other companies judged as the Top Five submissions – DeHaat, Longcom Internet-of-Things, AgNext and PT Crowde Membangun Bangsa – share a pool of winners’ cash prizes totaling US$20,000 and are now invited to present their solutions at Rabobank Asia’s Food and Agri (F&A) Advisory Board Meeting in Shanghai on 31 October. The annual premier event brings together chairmen and CEOs of leading food and agribusiness companies and commodity traders from China, India and Southeast Asia.

Speaking at the prize-giving ceremony, Albert Boogaard, Head of Innovation at Rabo Foundation, said: “What’s happening in Asia in terms of scale and focus on the end users is really impressive. Overall, the judges were greatly impressed by the innovation, passion and commitment shown by participants of SustainableAg Asia Challenge. These technologies and new business models can serve as catalysts for Asia’s diverse and fragmented food and agriculture industry, providing food and agri companies with the means to reinvigorate food production with smart farming, more effective and efficient processing and distribution techniques, as well as improving lives for smallholder farmers throughout Asia.”

Diane Boogaard, Rabobank Asia’s CEO, said: “Data and innovation are key in driving the changes needed to improve food and agri supply chains, thereby creating more sustainable food production. Through the SustainableAg Asia Challenge we want to connect innovative solutions with our corporate clients to drive sustainability and integrity in agri-food supply chains. As a major cooperative Food & Agri bank, enabling the change to a more sustainable food supply chain is core to our mission of ‘growing a better world together’. We do this by providing access to our knowledge, networks and financing solutions.”

SustainableAg Asia Challenge, supported by Rabo Foundation and Rabobank, drew a total of 138 submissions from a cross-section of technology start-ups and businesses in the food supply chain – including farming, food and agriculture traders, and food companies and retailers – that use cutting-edge data-driven technology, analysis and interconnectivity to develop market-ready smart farming techniques to help meet increased demand for food in Asia. While Asia’s population is expected to increase from 4.6 billion to 5.3 billion in 2050, limited arable land and natural resources are available for increased food production.

Winners:

1. Stellapps Technologies (India) A full-stack IT company that drives digitization of the dairy sector to significantly enhance income, profitability and yield per cow for farmers in emerging economies.
https://www.stellapps.com

2. DeHaat (India). The technology enabled platform currently provides complete end-to-end services to more than 170,000 Indian farmers from "Seed to Market" with a goal of expanding to a million by 2022.
https://agrevolution.in/home

3. Longcom Internet-of-Things (China). China's first end-to-end smart agricultural provider, with an IoT solution bringing higher efficiency and income to farmers, enabling a traceable, efficient and sustainable food supply chain.
https://www.lkwlw.com/

Merit Prize: AgNext (India). Builds advanced data-driven value chains that transform how we cultivate, procure, trade, store and consume food
https://www.agnext.com/

Merit Prize: PT Crowde Membangun Bangsa (Indonesia). An agri-focused financial technology start-up that empowers farmers with technology and capital through a farmer-friendly financing ecosystem; growing business, creating employment, and supporting local communities.
https://www.crowde.co/

Find out more about the SustainableAg Asia Challenge by Rabobank at: https://www.sustainableag.asia

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Press release Thu, 10 Oct 2019 16:36:44 GMT 263220
<![CDATA[Rabobank, ABN AMRO and BNP Paribas team up to support smallholder coffee farmers]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2019/20191001-neumann-coffee-farmers.html?utm_medium=RSS Rabobank, ABN AMRO, and BNP Paribas team up with Neumann Kaffee Gruppe (NKG), IDH, and USAID to support smallholder coffee farmers in Kenya, Honduras and Mexico. a globally unique impact banking–backed initiative which will reach 300,000 coffee families by 2030.

NKG Bloom is an initiative of Neumann Kaffee Gruppe, the largest green coffee service group in the world. German based NKG provides farmers with access to finance, an education and technology to harness their full production potential, work more sustainably and to make their coffee traceable.
The three banks provide the financing and, together with NKG, USAID and IDH, they share the credit risk. To form the core of NKG BLOOM, NKG led the creation of a Coffee Smallholder.
 

More information about NKG Bloom at NKG.

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Press release Tue, 01 Oct 2019 15:41:49 GMT 263002
<![CDATA[Mastercard and Rabobank join to bring financial inclusion tools]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2019/20190925_mastercard-rabobank-financial-inclusion-farmers.html?utm_medium=RSS Mastercard and Rabobank announced a strategic partnership to give one million farmers in emerging markets access to a digital platform that makes it easier for them to sell their produce for a fair price. The platform builds on the current Mastercard Farmer Network and will be enriched by Rabobank’s expertise and reach in the food and agricultural sectors across Europe, Africa and Asia.

The partnership was formally initiated at a signing ceremony during the advisors’ meeting of the CEO Partnership for Economic Inclusion earlier this year in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands in her capacity as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA).

Under the partnership, Mastercard and Rabobank will extend the reach and impact of the Mastercard Farmer Network across Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana, Egypt and India. Many smallholder farmers in these countries have limited acces to market information, finance and management skills. This has led to insecurity, inefficiencies, a waste of resources and ultimately prevents farmers from running a sustainable business.

Since its launch in 2015, the Mastercard Farmer Network has reached more than 250,000 farmers in Uganda, Tanzania and India. Through the platform, small-scale farmers connect with potential buyers, access mobile payment tools, and build a digital transaction record that can be used to access formal credit from a financial institution. This solution is part of Mastercard’s strategy to connect underserved communities to essential services through a common digital infrastructure.

“At Mastercard, we envision a world in which economic growth is truly inclusive,” said Arjan Bol, Netherlands country manager for Mastercard. “Mastercard Farmer Network contributes to this by offering a digital platform that makes it safer and simpler for small-holder farmers to grow their business. Through close collaborations with important partners as Rabobank, we are able to create even more impact, putting the digital economy to work for everyone, everywhere.”

The announcement comes as Ajay Banga, president and CEO of Mastercard, joins world and business leaders in celebrating Queen Máxima’s 10-year anniversary as the UNSGSA at the United Nations General Assembly’s special side event “Financial Inclusion for Development: Building on 10 Years of Progress”, in New York. The Special Advocate, who convened the CEO Partnership for Economic Inclusion, aims to unlock development opportunities and economic inclusion for all. Her support of private sector companies helped to provide the platform for the strategic partnership between Mastercard and Rabobank.

“We believe that sustainable partnerships in the food and agri value chain are key to guaranteeing food security in the future,” said Wiebe Draijer, CEO Rabobank. “This partnership creates a unique opportunity to expand access to the formal economy and financial services for hundreds of thousands of farmers. By joining forces with Mastercard we address both of our goals to increase financial inclusion in the agri-sector, while also contributing significantly to Rabobank’s Banking for Food strategy.”

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Press release Wed, 25 Sep 2019 12:31:33 GMT 262833
<![CDATA[Climate resilience risks and opportunities coalition ]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2019/20190922-climate-rroc.html?utm_medium=RSS The Global Commission on Adaption estimates over $7 trillion of climate change-related damages over the next ten years. To respond to these challenges, Rabobank and four other leading banks and investors committed Sunday to disclose risks and opportunities for their portfolios from the impacts of climate change by 2021.

Global financial institutions have clients and portfolios that cover all sectors of the economy and can therefore have a powerful influence on the way that investments are made and projects are financed. Responding to climate change impacts requires a systemic, risk-based approach to decision making. The recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) provide a framework for this, but uptake has been voluntary and rather piecemeal.

The Climate Resilience Risks and Opportunities Coalition (ClimateRROC) brings together Standard Chartered Bank, Rabobank, YES Bank, the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development and Rockefeller Asset Management who commit to disclose physical risks and opportunities from 2021, with the support of UNEP FI and the Global Center on Adaptation. This leadership group will also build support for public policies to encourage climate-related physical risk disclosure across the financial sector, as well as engaging with other financial firms to ensure that a critical mass of institutions commits to disclosure by 2021.

“In 2016, UN Environment Programme’s Adaptation Gap Report identified the wide and increasing gap for financing adaptation investments,” says Eric Usher, head of UNEP FI. “Climate change is affecting us now, particularly the poorest and most vulnerable, and will only become worse. It is imperative that the finance sector identifies market vulnerabilities and manages climate risks as we adapt to a warmer world. This is why UNEP FI is proud to partner with leading financial institutions to identify, measure and report on physical climate risk, to signal the importance of building finance sector resilience.”

“Measurability of the impact of climate on businesses and the financial sector is a very special and important challenge,” says Wiebe Draijer, chairman of Rabobank’s Executive Board. “As a Dutch bank, we are committed to transparency and we strive to contribute to making climate risk measurable. Our early participation in the UNEP FI TCFD working group expresses how important transparency and measurability of climate impact are for Rabobank. We are happy for the opportunity to take the lead again by joining the new Climate Resilience Risks and Opportunities Coalition.”

David P. Harris, President of Rockefeller Asset Management, says, “As climate change increasingly impacts economies and financial markets, it is prudent for investors to assess the risk and return ramifications to their portfolios and constructively engage with companies and policymakers to create long-term shareholder value. Our work with UNEP FI demonstrates our commitment to enhancing our investment process and delivering value for our clients. We are proud to take a leading role in the Climate Resilience Risks and Opportunities Coalition.”

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Press release Sun, 22 Sep 2019 22:52:19 GMT 262802
<![CDATA[130 banks holding USD 47 trillion in assets commit to climate action and sustainability]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2019/20190922-Principles-Responsible-Banking.html?utm_medium=RSS In a massive boost for climate action and sustainability, leading banks and the United Nations launched the Principles for Responsible Banking, with 130 banks collectively holding USD 47 trillion in assets, or one third of the global banking sector, signed up. Rabobank is one of them.

In the Principles, launched Sunday, one day ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, banks commit to strategically align their business with the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Goals, and massively scale up their contribution to the achievement of both.

By signing up to the Principles, banks said they believe that “only in an inclusive society founded on human dignity, equality and the sustainable use of natural resources” can their clients, customers and businesses thrive.

With global leaders coming together to share the actions they are taking to attain the Sustainable Development Goals and address climate change this week in New York, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said at the launch event, attended by the 130 Founding Signatories and over 45 of their CEOs, that “the UN Principles for Responsible Banking are a guide for the global banking industry to respond to, drive and benefit from a sustainable development economy.  The Principles create the accountability that can realize responsibility, and the ambition that can drive action.”

The Principles are supported by a strong implementation framework that defines clear accountabilities and requires each bank to set, publish and work towards ambitious targets. By creating a common framework that guides banks in growing their business and reducing risks through supporting the economic and social transformation required for a sustainable future, the Principles pave the way for the transformation to a sustainable banking industry.

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Press release Sun, 22 Sep 2019 22:00:23 GMT 262798
<![CDATA[Sale of Rabobank, National Association finalized ]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2019/20190902-rna-mechanics-bank.html?utm_medium=RSS Rabobank has completed the sale of Rabobank, National Association (“RNA”) to Mechanics Bank, which was announced earlier this year for a total consideration of approximately USD 2.1 billion.

On 31 August 2019, the sale transaction was finalized after satisfying all customary closing conditions and the receipt of all required regulatory approvals. In line with our “Banking for Food” strategy, approximately USD 5 billion of Food & Agribusiness (F&A) assets were transferred from RNA to Rabo AgriFinance on 1 July 2019.

By consolidating all of our U.S. rural agribusiness operations under a single roof, Rabo AgriFinance will be the only U.S. ag lender to serve the F&A sector coast-to-coast by coupling local expertise with global sector knowledge.

This move gives Rabobank a strong foundation for further expansion in the U.S. and supports our growth strategy across the entire F&A value chain in North America, which includes our Rural and Wholesale Banking businesses and our leasing business, DLL.

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Press release Mon, 02 Sep 2019 07:00:00 GMT 262549
<![CDATA[Rabobank Posts EUR 1.2 Billion Net Profit in First Half-Year of 2019]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2019/20190815-rabobank-posts-eur-1-2-billion-net-profit-in-first-half-year-of-2019.html?utm_medium=RSS In a challenging environment, Rabobank has made progress on achieving most of its strategic objectives in the first six months of the year. Net profit for the first half-year was EUR 1.2 billion.

‘In the first six months of 2019 Rabobank posted a net profit of EUR 1.2 billion. During the first half-year international developments continued to threaten stability and growth prospects worldwide. Take for example the escalating trade war between the United States and China, the growing likelihood of a hard Brexit and the persistent low interest rate environment. Given this continuing uncertainty, it is with satisfaction that we can look back and observe the important strides we have taken toward achieving our strategy and our mission as a cooperative bank. None of this would have been possible without the efforts and dedication of our employees, all of whom deserve our express thanks.’

Compared to the historically high performance over the first half-year of 2018, net profit declined by 29%. The decrease is mainly attributable to a rise in impairment charges compared to their extremely low level over the same period last year. At the current level impairment charges are trending upward toward the long-term average. Income declined, mostly as the result of the derecognition of income from divested non-strategic activities (FGH Bank and BPD Marignan). The persistent low interest rate environment also affected income, but to a lesser extent.

Rabobank succeeded in cutting costs further. Compared to the first half-year of 2018, expenses decreased by 5% as a result of ongoing restructuring efforts. As a result, the cost/income ratio improved from 65.9% (over the full year 2018) to 64.4% over the past half-year. We remain focused on improving the cost/income ratio. The rate of improvement will partly be influenced by interest rate developments and increased investments for digitalization and compliance.

Rabobank maintains its strong capital position: the common equity tier 1 (CET 1) ratio stands at 15.8%, well above Rabobank’s target of at least 14%. The slight decline of 0.2% (compared to December 31, 2018) is partially a consequence of growth of our loan book. This capital position leaves Rabobank well prepared for the impact of Basel IV and TRIM.

Rabobank has sold a number of international non-core activities in North America (RNA) and Ireland (ACC loan portfolio) and is downscaling its retail operations in Indonesia. These changes contribute toward our targeted balance sheet optimization.

In line with our Food & Agri strategy, lending to international clients rose by EUR 5 billion on a like-for-like basis (i.e. disregarding the sale of RNA). Part of this growth is achieved within our leasing subsidiary DLL. In addition, deposits from customers increased by EUR 12 billion on a like-for-like basis.

By consolidating our RNA agribusiness operations in Rabo AgriFinance, Rabobank is now the fourth largest agribusiness financier in North America, which is the biggest agriculture market in the world. This gives us a strong foundation to expand its market position.

Rabobank slightly increased its market share in the Dutch residential mortgage market to 21.4% and remains market leader.

During the past six months, Rabobank ran the program “simplify@scale” with around 2,500 employees working agile to develop faster, better (digital) products and services for customers. New functionalities include visualizing the development of current account balances during a selected time period and a tool to allocate payments to expense categories. These are examples that provide customers great overview of their finances in the updated Rabobank app, which is now an even better financial coach with these additions. As of June 30, 2019, 63% of private customers and 81% of business clients are active via the app or online.

Rabobank also introduced a new platform for SMEs, called Fundr. This is a lending platform that gives entrepreneurs insight into how much they can borrow in just 15 minutes. It’s a user-friendly way for them to apply for a loan quickly and securely.

In the past half-year, under the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) Rabobank became the first bank in the Netherlands to enable the extension of several API connections to other providers, for example, payment initiation and sharing account details. The investment app Peaks, one of Rabobank’s early fintechs, was the first non-banking institution in the Netherlands to be granted a license by the Dutch Central Bank to offer its services to customers of all banks now.

The new operating model for local Rabobanks has been fully implemented now: our local impact is clearly high with 90 local banks, supported by 14 centers of expertise and 382 branches across the Netherlands. A fine example is Banking4brainport: Rabobank in the Eindhoven region has made EUR 1 billion available for financing companies in Brainport, the leading technology and innovation region in the Netherlands. In the first half-year of 2019, Rabobank allocated EUR 19 million of its net profit as a cooperative dividend to local projects.

The steady rise in NPS scores in the Netherlands demonstrates that customer satisfaction is still improving. We have further enhanced our member involvement, as well as Rabobank’s general reputation score.

Looking ahead at the next half-year, Wiebe Draijer adds: ‘In line with our strategy, our efforts are focused on further expanding our cooperative services and strengthening connections with our members. We want to make an important contribution to improving the living environment of our customers and members, fully aligned with our cooperative nature. We are going the extra mile in the energy transition by offering our private customers more options when it comes to making their homes more sustainable. We are stepping up our efforts globally to improve sustainability in the agriculture sector and throughout the food chain. With 1,600 customer due diligence (CDD) specialists worldwide, we have prioritized our social role as a gatekeeper to the financial system. In our view, customer integrity forms a basis of good customer service. CDD enables us to protect customers and society from the risks posed by money laundering, fraud and terrorist financing. We are investing in increasingly advanced technology and are poised to continue collaborating with sector and government parties to fight increasingly complex forms of fraud and financial crime.

We are well on track to give further shape and purpose to our mission of ‘Growing a Better World Together’.’

Published: 15 August 2019, 07:30 CET

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.

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Press release Thu, 15 Aug 2019 08:00:00 GMT 262223