press releases press releases en <![CDATA[Rabobank Publishes Integrated Annual Report 2018]]> Rabobank published its integrated Annual Report 2018 today. The report gives an extensive account of the bank’s performance in social and financial terms. It illustrates Rabobank’s growth in 2018 and how it plays a meaningful role for individuals, society and the environment.

As a meaningful cooperative bank and a leading Food & Agri bank, Rabobank is committed to making a substantial contribution to welfare and prosperity in the Netherlands and to resolving the food issue worldwide. In the past year Rabobank furthered these ambitions through tangible expressions of its mission “Growing a better world together.” Support for diverse practical and successful initiatives in the Netherlands and the rest of the world resulted in more satisfied clients, ground-breaking innovations and improved financial results. The annual results 2018 were published on 14 February.

We recently implemented a new structure for the local banks in the Netherlands whose impact will be felt most keenly in the regions. Through these changes Rabobank believes it can continue to make the difference at local and regional level throughout the country. In response to the changing nature of society we will prioritize continuous improvement and adaptation of our digital service provision in the years to come. And—as always—we will maintain close connections with our clients and members.

The integrated Annual Report 2018 also includes the Annual Accounts 2018 and the Pillar 3 report. To accompany the Annual Report 2018 all 101 local banks are publishing a compact infographic showing their impact on society in their regions.

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.

Press release Thu, 14 Mar 2019 08:30:00 GMT 260243
<![CDATA[Rabo Ventures invests in medical Artificial Intelligence start-up Aidence]]>

  • The Series A financing round of 10 million euro was led by Inkef Capital and Rabo Ventures
  • Aidence supports medical professionals with medical diagnostics based medical image analysis
  • This investment brings the total financing raised by Aidence to over 12.5 million euro

Rabo Ventures, an investment initiative by Rabobank has invested in Artificial Intelligence (AI) start-up Aidence. This Amsterdam based company aims to improve medical diagnostics by applying Deep Learning to medical image analysis. Rabo Ventures participated in this 10 million euro series A investment round led by Inkef Capital.

Other exisiting investors in Aidence include Northzone, HenQ en Health Innovation. This investment brings Aidence’s total funding to 12.5 million euro.

“Mathijs Koens from Rabo Ventures: “With its practical AI solution for radiologists, Aidence fits very well with our ambition to contribute to improving the healthcare ecosystem and ultimately retaining affordable healthcare for all.”

Rabo Ventures is part of Rabo Corporate Investments, the captive investment arm of Rabobank (previously Rabo Private Equity). Rabo Ventures invests in a wide range of innovative start-ups in healthcare, sustainability, smart industries and food & agri. Koens: “From Rabo Ventures, we are dedicated to fulfilling a supporting role and building value by leveraging Rabobank’s network, knowledge and position for the benefit of the companies we invest in.”

Rabo Ventures has a different focus than Rabo Frontier Ventures, the strategic investment fund of Rabobank aimed at Fintech and Food & Agri companies.

Aidence was founded in Amsterdam in 2015 by Mark-Jan Harte (CEO) and Jeroen van Duffelen (COO). Since then, the company has made waves in the medical imaging industry with its AI solution, Veye Chest. Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers worldwide and early detection is of great importance for survival. Aidence's AI-enabled pulmonary nodule management assistant, Veye Chest, connects with existing imaging infrastructure and enables radiologists to better spot and track changes in pulmonary nodules. Veye Chest is already installed in more than 10 hospitals in the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Scandinavia and processes hundreds of studies per week.

CEO Mark-Jan Harte says: “We’ve been determined since day one to deliver a tangible clinical AI solution that can be used by healthcare professionals to help their patients. We welcome INKEF and Rabo Ventures on our journey as we strive to shape the future of the medical imaging industry. With this funding we will continue building our European market expansion while also building towards FDA clearance giving us access to the US healthcare market. This investment will allow our research and development team to expand and explore new avenues for the Veye platform to support our radiologist AI pioneers and the patients they care for.”

Published: 20 February 2019, 12:00 CET

Press release Wed, 20 Feb 2019 11:42:00 GMT 259678
<![CDATA[Roland van der Vorst will start as Head of Innovation WRR ]]> From April 1, Roland van der Vorst will start as the new Head of Innovation WRR (Wholesale, Rural and Retail) at Rabobank. In this role he will be responsible for innovative initiatives that impact or relate to Dutch large corporates and the bank’s international Food & Agri activities.

Roland van der Vorst: “I am really looking forward to helping the bank and its clients to innovate. As a global player, Rabobank has a unique position to not only be of value to its clients, but also to influence the global food challenge. I also believe in the bank’s cooperative character. Cooperation is an asset that will help us cope with some of today’s most complex challenges. My new role offers me a great opportunity to have a positive impact.”

“I would like to thank all my colleagues at FreedomLab and Dasym for the inspiration and opportunities they have given me to build FreedomLab into what it is today.”

Jan van Nieuwenhuizen, member of the Rabobank Managing Board: ”We look forward to welcoming Roland. With his broad experience and background, he is the right person to give innovation a positive push forward.”

Roland will leave his position as Managing Director of FreedomLab. He will remain active as a professor in the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering at TU Delft. He will also continue to write his weekly column in the Futures section of the Saturday edition of Het Financieele Dagblad.

Published: 20 February 2019, 9:00 CET

Press release Wed, 20 Feb 2019 08:28:50 GMT 259666
<![CDATA[Rabo Frontier Ventures secures additional 80 million euro funding ]]> For a new round of investments in FinTech and AgTech companies Rabo Frontier Ventures secures 80 million euro. Total committed capital in the strategic investment fund of Rabobank peaks at 150 million euro. With this capital Rabo Frontier Ventures expands its investment strategy to global innovation hubs, such as San Francisco, Singapore en Tel Aviv.

Harrie Vollaard, managing partner Rabo Frontier Ventures: “After two years with more than ten investments in a row, it is time to broaden our horizon further. We see many opportunities all across the globe to invest in companies who align with our strategy of sustainable growth. We are keen to work with entrepreneurs and investors in prime markets like FinTech and Agtech. With our knowledge, network and capital we help ambitious companies to reach the next level.”

In the past year Rabo Frontier Ventures invested in ten startups in total. To highlight; investments were made in European blockchainplatform and global blockchain-based solution komgo for commodity trading and in FinTech startup Tellow. Most recent investment was in Los Angeles based payments solutions provider ProducePay, which connects farmers and suppliers to finance growth.

With the committed capital Rabo Frontier Ventures expands its strategy to global innovation hubs like San Francisco, Tel Aviv and Singapore. Harrie Vollaard: “We see that innovation is definitely accelerating in cities known for their innovative mindset. We can add value in these innovation hotspots with the assets of the Rabobank. As the strategic investment fund of Rabobank – one of the largest Food and Agri banks globally – we have the opportunity to leverage our position and to connect entrepreneurs to markets anywhere. A decisive element for companies with the ambition to grow.”

Published: 15 February 2019, 08:00 CET

Press release Fri, 15 Feb 2019 08:09:02 GMT 259617
<![CDATA[A Healthy Foundation for the Cooperative Bank of the Future]]>

  • EUR 3,004M (+12%) net profit.
  • Low impairment charges because of the positive economy (5 basis points of the average loan portfolio).
  • Upward trend in customer satisfaction for third consecutive year.
  • Lending to international Food & Agri customers increased by 5%. Private sector lending increased by EUR 7.9B to EUR 416.0B.
  • Cost/income ratio improved from 71.3% to 65.9% because of lower operating expenses and despite higher investments in digitalization and risk management.
  • Strong buffers: fully loaded common equity tier 1 ratio from 15.5% to 16.0%.
  • Sustainalytics has placed Rabobank at the top of the global sustainability rankings for major banks.

In 2018 Rabobank posted a net profit of EUR 3,004 million. This is an increase of 12% compared to 2017. These strong results have reinforced the bank’s financial position. Impairment charges remained at historically low levels thanks to the continuing favorable economy but were higher than in 2017. Total revenues remained stable despite the low interest rate environment. In line with the strategic growth targets, lending to international customers in the Food & Agri sector increased, while the deposits from customers remained stable. Rabobank actively contributes to the sustainability of its customers. For the third consecutive year, Rabobank’s customers were more satisfied with the bank’s services. Lower operating expenses improved the cost/income ratio from 71.3% to 65.9%. Cost reduction will remain necessary for the coming years, despite the need to invest in digitalization and risk management. Adjusted for the impact of reorganization costs and fair value items, the underlying operating profit before taxes showed a decrease of 6% on 2017 when an exceptional release of credit provisions caused an upward shift in operating profit. Rabobank's capital base is holding strong: the fully loaded common equity tier 1 ratio increased again and now stands at 16.0%. The return on invested capital improved to 7.4% (2017: 6.9%) but has yet to reach the 8.0% target set by Rabobank.

“2018 was a good year. We have a healthy foundation for the cooperative bank of the future. We’ll need it too, to weather all the challenging transitions affecting society. The global food problem, the challenges of the Paris climate agreement and the agricultural and energy transition in the Netherlands also require a healthy and committed, cooperative bank.”

“Our mission, “Growing a better world together,” gives us direction and guidance. Our employees are inspired and motivated. Thanks to their efforts, we are largely on schedule in achieving most of our targets. We can be of greater significance for (international) society now that our financial results have improved, our capital position has been strengthened and the balance sheet has been further optimized. The fact that Sustainalytics has placed Rabobank at the top of its global sustainability rankings for major banks signifies huge recognition for our efforts in this area and speaks volumes about how we’re putting into practice the ambitions set out in our Sustainability strategy.”

“The private sector loan portfolio rose by EUR 7.9 billion to EUR 416.0 billion in 2018. In line with our growth objectives more clients obtained a loan from Rabobank, particularly in the Wholesale, Rural & Retail (WRR) sector and at our leasing subsidiary DLL. The way our F&A focus impacts international business is becoming increasingly clear. The WRR loan portfolio rose by 9% to EUR 109.0 billion. In line with our Banking for Food strategy, 61% of this portfolio was lent out to the Food & Agri sector. Partly due to extra mortgage repayments, we saw Rabobank's total mortgage portfolio decrease in 2018 to EUR 190.0 billion. The deposits from customers remained stable at EUR 342.4 billion.”

“Operating expenses declined by 8%, which improved the cost/income ratio including regulatory levies by 5.4 percentage points, bringing it to 65.9% (2017: 71.3%). Still, a further cost reduction is necessary to achieve the intended efficiency targets. In 2018 the number of employees (FTEs) decreased by 1,868 (4%). At local banks, many jobs have changed or have disappeared, because of regional clustering of roles and tasks.”

“Rabobank's strong capital position improved even further in 2018. Rabobank’s goal is to achieve a common equity tier 1 (CET1) ratio of at least 14% in 2020. The fully loaded CET1 ratio rose from 15.5% to 16%. Thus, the capital targets for 2020 have already been largely achieved. Rabobank will continue further strengthening its buffers to prepare for compliance with the capital requirements of Basel IV by 2027.”

“Customer satisfaction also rose in 2018, but the sector has not yet managed to restore consistent public confidence. Together, we still have a lot to improve. As a cooperative bank, we can only change that by distinguishing ourselves to the public in a positive way as a strong, customer-oriented organization that fulfills its social responsibility. Rabobank invests continually in risk management, compliance and client integrity.”

“To provide clarity in 2018 on the compensation relating to the reassessment of interest rate derivative contracts, Rabobank sent a letter to all the customers who are eligible for this. At December 31, 2018 almost 6,300 customers had received an offer letter and over 2,500 had received a proposal for a full advance. The project costs were higher than anticipated. We deeply regret that it takes so long to complete the compensation process.”

“The past year proved that the new senior management structure is working effectively. We further optimized the service model of the Dutch banking business, combining digital and personal services with a comprehensive network of offices and services. We are seeing one Rabobank Culture emerging at a rapid pace. Employee satisfaction increased, despite the far-reaching transition that large parts of the bank are experiencing. The number of women in senior positions is high and is set to rise further. Of both the Managing Board members and the Supervisory Board, 40% are women and women represent 31% of the management level reporting to the Managing Board.”

“In 2018 we also achieved an acceleration in the field of innovation. More than 70% of our customers in the Netherlands now bank online. Our Moonshot campaign has already led to 6 new ventures, including Tellow, an app that helps freelancers with their accounting and tax returns. In 2018 we collaborated with innovative start-ups and scale-ups, such as Komgo and, both blockchain platforms which make it easier for our customers to do international business. Open Banking and PSD2 will quickly change the financial institution landscape. New competitors from the technology sector, among others, will lead to tighter competition and more possible choices for customers.”

“Rabobank wants to encourage the transition of the agricultural sector and to make sustainable food production possible. As a leading international Food & Agri bank, we want to contribute to the solution for the global food problem.By 2050, there has to be enough healthy food to feed around 10 billion people worldwide. We can count about half of the world's top 300 food and agricultural businesses among our customers. Through the work of Rabobank Foundation and Rabo Partnerships we contribute to the financial self-reliance of almost five million small farmers worldwide.”

“Prolonged dry weather in 2018 impacted the agriculture sector in the Netherlands, especially arable farming, the dairy sector and horticulture. Rabobank helps its customers dealing with the consequences by offering a “drought loan,” among other things. Farmers in California and Australia were also able to count on Rabobank at difficult times due to persistent drought.”

“We can look back with satisfaction on the progress we made in 2018, but we are also aware that we are not there yet. In the coming years we will give even more attention to the future of cooperative banking, where we take social responsibility in line with our mission. We do that in a world with many challenges, a low interest rate environment, digitalization, technological advances, trade wars, more stringent regulation and climate change.”

“For the coming years Rabobank forecasts moderate economic growth and a low interest rate environment in the Netherlands and international markets, against a backdrop of risks associated with tensions on the world stage. Rabobank is seeking further growth, in Food & Agri internationally, and in the Netherlands as an all-finance service provider. We remain close to our customers as a cooperative bank and will continue to invest in both digitalization and our national branch network. This enables us to stimulate innovation among our customers and to help them make either their home or business operations more sustainable. The type of social contribution we want to make in all countries in which we operate is becoming clearer every year. Growing a better world together.”

Published: 14 February 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.

Press release Thu, 14 Feb 2019 07:27:24 GMT 259400
<![CDATA[Rabobank earns top spot in global sustainability ranking ]]> Sustainalytics has placed Rabobank at the top of the sustainability rankings for major banks. This means the bank received the highest score for how it applies Environmental Social Governance (ESG) data in its services and approach to risk. Sustainalytics has concluded that the risk of Rabobank incurring financial damage due to environmental and social policy is negligible.

This risk is relevant to institutional investors who wish to invest in sustainable companies. Rabobank held the 62nd position in the rankings just four years ago. The bank earned a top 10 place for the next two years before going on to seize the number two position last year. “Rabobank’s number one position this year speaks volumes about how we’re successfully putting into practice the ambitions set out in our Sustainably Successful Together strategy,” says Bas Rüter, Director of Sustainability at Rabobank.

Sustainalytics is the global leader in sustainability research and ratings for investors. The assessment takes into account both the content of the sustainability policy and how the bank applies it in practice. Rabobank received the best score of all the 294 major banks included in the assessment. Rabobank earns high scores on corporate policy, product policy, human capital and integrating ESG data into its lending operations. While the scores on data privacy & security and business ethics are slightly lower, the risk remains low.

Rüter: “When making lending decisions, Rabobank looks at the extent to which a client complies with our sustainability policy. Prospective clients may only become clients if they comply with the policy. Existing clients must also comply. If they do not meet the requirements we enter into a dialogue with them concerning the necessary changes. If the required changes are not made, the bank suspends provision of services. This integration of policy into our lending operations is extremely important to investors.”

Find out more about our sustainability policy?

Published: 7 February 2019, 09:00 CET

Press release Thu, 07 Feb 2019 08:36:45 GMT 259505
<![CDATA[Rabobank confirms Els de Groot as Chief Risk Officer]]> Rabobank confirms the appointment of Els de Groot as Chief Risk Officer and member of the Managing Board. Rabobank announced Els de Groot’s appointment on 18 October 2018, pending approval from the regulators, which is now confirmed.

Els de Groot succeeds Petra van Hoeken in these roles. Els de Groot was Chief Financial Officer of Schiphol Group from 2012 to 2017. Before that she worked as an independent consultant and interim manager, including a role as interim Chief Financial & Risk Officer at Van Lanschot Bankiers. From 1987 to 2008 she held various management positions at ABN Amro Bank, including Executive Vice President Group Risk Management.

Petra van Hoeken will continue as a member of the North America Board of Directors of Rabobank and of the Supervisory Board of DLL, Rabobank’s independent leasing business.

Published: 1 February 2019, 11:00 CET

Press release Fri, 01 Feb 2019 13:43:53 GMT 259434
<![CDATA[Rabobank data in EBA publication]]> 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 2018 EU-wide Transparency Exercise and fulfilment of the EBA Board of Supervisors' decision.

At its meetings in February and April 2018, the EBA Board of Supervisors approved the package for the 2018 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 is 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.

Press release Fri, 14 Dec 2018 11:51:22 GMT 258860
<![CDATA[Annet Aris appointed to Rabobank Supervisory Board ]]> The General Members Council of Rabobank has appointed Annet Aris as a member of the Supervisory Board. Annet Aris (1958) studied Agricultural Science and Land Development at the University of Wageningen and obtained an MBA from INSEAD Business School. From 1985 to 2003 she worked as a consultant and partner at McKinsey in Amsterdam, London and Munich. Since 2003 Annet Aris has been a faculty member at INSEAD where as Senior Affiliate Professor of Strategy she lectures on topics including ‘Digital transformation of society, industries and companies’. Annet Aris is a member of the Supervisory Board of other organizations including Randstad N.V., ASML N.V. and Jungheinrich AG.

Annet Aris has been appointed for a four-year term. The General Members Council has also reappointed Arian Kamp to the Supervisory Board for a second four-year term. Arian Kamp joined Rabobank’s Supervisory Board in 2014.

Chairman of the Supervisory Board Ron Teerlink: “We aim for a balanced composition in the Supervisory Board. Annet Aris brings in-depth knowledge of digital transformation and innovation and is a valuable addition to our team.”

The Supervisory Board of Rabobank is comprised of Ron Teerlink (Chair), Marjan Trompetter (Vice Chair), Annet Aris, Irene Asscher-Vonk, Leo Degle, Petri Hofsté, Arian Kamp, Jan Nooitgedagt and Pascal Visée.

Published: 12 December 2018, 18:00 CET

Press release Wed, 12 Dec 2018 18:15:00 GMT 258825
<![CDATA[Investor Rabo Participaties acquires a 40% interest in V&S Foodspecialist]]> V&S Food Specialist (V&S), a Dutch manufacturer of hand-made satay, ethnic and vegetarian snacks has attracted a new shareholder: Rabo Participaties. The Leiden based company is a renowned producer for various European customers, especially in the food service industry.

V&S wishes to further strengthen its position in these markets by, among other things, focussing on further product development together with its customers and its ability to quickly respond to client demands through its flexible production processes. This anticipated growth will be supported by capacity expansion. In addition, V&S sees opportunities for selective acquisitions. Thanks to the shareholding of Rabo Participaties, V&S is now ideally positioned for this.

"Rabo Participaties fits well with us; there was an instant click"; says managing director and major shareholder Eric Postma of V&S in an explanation. "Rabo Participaties is a strong, financial partner, has a cooperative background, is pragmatic, just like us, and is keen to support the envisaged growth strategy of the company in the long term."

The participation in V&S fits well with Rabo Participaties as the company is supported to realize further growth and it fits seamlessly with her food & agri "sweet spot". Dolf Broekveldt, investment director at Rabo Participaties: "V&S is an interesting and innovative company with a well-defensible position in the food market with more than sufficient growth potential. The fact that the entrepreneurial managing director retains a majority interest, and other management team members also acquire a stake, confirms our confidence in the company and the strategic direction of the company.’’

V&S has been advised by Squarefield (M&A) and Van Doorne (legal). Rabo Participaties was assisted by DLA Piper (legal), KPMG (financial) and JSA Tax Consultancy (fiscal).

The history of V&S dates back to 1904. Over the years the company has proactively and successfully adapted to the changing market and quality requirements. In recent years, the company has grown substantially through a combination of organic growth and a number of strategic acquisitions. V&S operates in more than ten countries across Europe. By the end of 2017 the number of employees was 260.

Rabo Participaties is part of Rabo Private Equity, the investment arm of the Rabobank Group. Currently, the investment branch of Rabobank has more than EUR 1 billion under management through (international) fund investments and direct participations. Rabo Participaties invests directly in rapidly growing Dutch companies who seek a partner to realize further growth and/or a change of ownership. Rabo Participaties is flexible when it comes to investment structures, holding both minority and majority stakes, whereby the partnership with the entrepreneur is always essential and the first priority.

Published: 7 December 2018, 16:00 CET

Press release Fri, 07 Dec 2018 16:00:00 GMT 258750
<![CDATA[Rabobank and Nxchange Launch Rabo&Crowd]]> A new service launched today by Rabobank and Nxchange, Rabo&Crowd provides businesses with access to a brand-new financing channel, combining a bank loan provided by Rabobank with funding from private investors. The Nxchange platform enables SMEs to attract funding by issuing tradeable bonds. Investors can buy and sell these bonds on the Nxchange stock exchange. Currently at the pilot stage, Rabo&Crowd will be further refined and enhanced with the input of early adopters and investors.

Marcel Gerritsen, Head of Strategy & Innovation at Rabobank Corporate: “We’re seeing a growing demand among SMEs for alternative financing solutions. Rabo&Crowd provides businesses with access to investors through a regulated stock exchange. Rabobank will always provide a portion of the funding by means of a bank loan or credit facility. Rabo&Crowd is the result of experiences acquired with Rabo&Co, a platform through which high-net-worth individuals could invest substantial amounts in businesses together with Rabobank. Rabo&Crowd fits perfectly with our roots as a cooperative bank– it is all about matching investors with entrepreneurs looking for funding.”

Investors can join the Rabo&Crowd community for as little as €100, investing in businesses by purchasing bonds on the Nxchange stock exchange. Subject to market demand, the bonds can be traded on the Nxchange stock exchange before the expiration date, which is attractive for both SMEs and investors. Businesses can issue both short-term and long-term bond loans, while investors can sell bonds before the expiration date.

Businesses who have applied for crowdfunding through Rabo&Crowd – the minimum application amount is €200,000 – are assigned a Rabo&Crowd coach who manages the application process.
Once the application is approved, the coach also helps set up an online campaign to attract investors through the Nxchange stock exchange. The market exposure this generates also allows businesses to attract ambassadors and potential new customers.

Marleen Evertsz, CEO and founder of Nxchange: “Nxchange is the first fully regulated Stock Exchange-as-a-Service. Businesses and financial services providers can use the platform to issue and trade bonds and other securities. We believe that the time has come for a more modern form of capital market transactions: efficient, real-time, 24/7, transparent, and supported by compliance procedures. Partnerships such as this alliance with Rabobank will help us to make our capital market solution available to as many people as possible.”

Rabobank was the first bank in the Netherlands to actively work together with crowdfunding platforms, having partnered over the past two years with Collin Crowdfund, OnePlanetCrowd, Knab Crowdfunding, and ZIB Crowdfunding. These partnerships will remain in place; the difference between Rabo&Crowd and these other four platforms is that the latter provide crowdfunded, non-tradeable private loans while Rabo&Crowd provides tradeable bond loans.

The first company looking to raise funds through Rabo&Crowd and Nxchange is Billink, which specializes in flexible payment solutions for online retailers that allow consumers and businesses to make purchases on credit. Billink’s sales and marketing director Laurens Withagen: “We analyzed and compared several different types of financing, and Rabo&Crowd strongly appealed to us because it really brings something new to the market. The funds generated through the bond issue will allow us to provide even better services to our clientele of online retailers, as well as to achieve our growth targets. We have issued a total of €700,000 worth of bonds, and investors can get on board from just €500.”

Go to the Rabo&Crowd website (in Dutch)

Published: 3 December 2018, 09:00 CET

Press release Mon, 03 Dec 2018 08:28:17 GMT 258660
<![CDATA[India’s Ecozen wins inaugural Rabobank Food Loss Challenge Asia]]> India’s Ecozen Solutions has won the inaugural Rabobank Food Loss Challenge Asia, launched to highlight agri-tech solutions to the growing global problem of food loss and wastage from farm to market.

Rabobank invited submissions from regional agri-tech start-ups as an initiative to facilitate constructive dialogue across the agri-industry spectrum between solutions providers, food & agriculture corporates and small holder farmers.

Ecozen Solutions, which is enabling the farm-to-fork movement of perishables by providing solar based cold rooms at the farm level, was chosen from five finalists at the event Finale held in Singapore on 15 November 2018. Ecozen won both the Jury’s Prize of USD15,000 and the Audience’s Prize of USD5,000. The event Finale was held at Rabobank Asia’s Food & Agriculture Advisory Board meeting, the bank’s premier event bringing together C-Suite level decision makers of leading food & agriculture companies.

On the photo From left to right: Mark van Binsbergen of Rabobank, Amit Khirbat of Olam, Sid Jain of ADM Asia Pacific, Albert Boogaard of Rabobank Foundation, Prateek Singhal, Co-founder and COO of Ecozen Solutions, Sagar Kaushik of UPL Ltd, Anuj Maheshwari of Temasek and Diane Boogaard of Rabobank. Missing from the photo: Prasit Chalongchaichan of CP Group.

Prateek Singhal, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Ecozen, said: “A win at the Food Loss Challenge Asia is a validation of our efforts and product offering. Food Loss is a key issue in all developing countries and we at Ecozen are striving to build solutions to prevent this. This Challenge will help us to reach out and collaborate with like-minded businesses and organizations working towards tackling food loss. Further, it can also provide access to capital which would fast track our product development and business expansion plans.”

“Rabobank has been very supportive in preparing for this challenge, mentoring and guiding at every stage. Our business model of leasing of cold rooms to farmers and connecting them via platform to organised buyers who are looking to source perishables from them was well appreciated by Rabobank and the audience. We are looking forward to collaborate with them in future to scale this model.”

Read here the full media release.

Read more about Ecozen at

Find out more about the Food Loss Challenge Asia at

Published: 20 November 2018, 10:00 CET

Press release Tue, 20 Nov 2018 10:00:00 GMT 258456
<![CDATA[Rabobank: Global food price stability in 2019 threatened by trade wars, disease and El Niño]]>

  • “Threats on many fronts” pose risk to global food price stability following year of uncertainty
  • Unless US-China trade war is resolved, outlook is bleak for US soybean farmers, while Brazil reaps benefits, and overall production costs are set to rise
  • Meat and seafood – most notably pork and poultry - expected to continue to be affected by disease and extreme weather could impact soft commodities

A “melting pot” of risks – including US trade war with China, disease and extreme weather – threaten global food price stability next year, according to research from Rabobank, the specialist food and agribusiness bank.

In its annual Outlook reports, which analyse the prospects for more than 15 agricultural commodities, meat and seafood, Rabobank says that while the global food price environment remains relatively stable, ongoing geopolitical tension, the threat of El Niño weather system and diseases affecting livestock bring great uncertainty to the outlook for 2019.

Stefan Vogel, head of agri commodity markets at Rabobank and report co-author, said: “The agri commodity price environment may be relatively stable currently, but it’s difficult to remember a time there were so many threats to food commodity prices on so many fronts, from trade wars to currency movements to weather threats and livestock disease.”

Justin Sherrard, global strategist for animal protein at the bank, added: “Food producers face a melting pot of risks. Although it’s possible that not all of them will come to pass, they need to be prepared for a difficult and worrying year in 2019.”

The trade war between the US and China has shaped 2018. If, as expected, it continues into 2019, it will alter global trade flows in the year ahead and beyond.

Soybeans are most affected. Currently importing 60 per cent of the world’s soybean trade, Rabobank forecasts China’s intake will fall below 90m tonnes in 2018/19 due to import restrictions. With China buying from elsewhere, US farmers face an oversupply of soybeans and will likely see stocks more than double to record levels by the end of 2018/19, the bank forecasts.

Meanwhile, Brazil, the world’s second largest soybean producer, will see crop prices supported. This will make soybean farmers the principal beneficiary of the trade war, while putting heightened feed cost burdens on the livestock sector.

In animal protein, US meat and seafood exporters will be looking to new trading partners outside of China. This provides a window of opportunity for Brazil, Canada and EU, who will all be looking to fill the demand in the Chinese market for pork.

The US dollar is currently at an 18-month high and it is anticipated to continue to strengthen into late 2019 before stabilising. US exports will subsequently continue to suffer from a lack of competitiveness abroad, further challenging US farmer profitability.

In Brazil, the weak real has been hit by longstanding domestic political uncertainty, helping to keep sugar and coffee exports competitive in export markets. However, a surplus of coffee beans and sugar is keeping a lid on prices. Yet Brazil has also benefited from China buying more pork. The world’s second-largest economy has turned its head there – and to Europe – which Rabobank expects to continue into 2019.

Vogel added: “The largest threat for farmers is the US-China trade war. Depending on whether the superpowers can reconcile, we’re likely to see commodities like US soybeans continue to take a real hit as China snubs them. This is causing American crop farmers financial pain, while our expectation that the dollar will remain strong deep into 2019 is also a challenge for them.

“Nevertheless, US soybeans are cheaper than Brazilian given levels of surplus crop, with US farmers turning to other soybean importing nations to sell stock. China might partly switch back to buying from the US if and when the dispute is resolved, but a full recovery of this trade flow seems unlikely.”

Rabobank expects the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) to continue to have a global impact on pork production, proving especially harmful in China with a decline in supply, rising prices and higher imports. Europe still faces an oversupply of pork, and this will become a particular issue if the ASF outbreak hits production levels and results in a drop off in export opportunities.

But with pork being the animal protein most at risk of disease, it’s likely to impact consumer perceptions, and as a result, demand. It’s a similar story in the poultry market, as the growing risk of Avian Influenza continues to cause consumer concern, leading to significant volatility in trade streams.

Justin Sherrard said: “With the severity of disease outbreaks showing no signs of being curbed, especially in pork and poultry, biosecurity will become a higher business priority for livestock producers in the year ahead. Major outbreaks are affecting global trade flows and consumer preferences, and as a result we expect to see a shift to beef and seafood consumption in some markets.”

With an 80 per cent chance of El Niño being formally declared by the end of the winter in the Northern Hemisphere, Rabobank expects the weather event to drive further uncertainty across commodities markets.

Wetter weather in the US Southern Plains could mean an uplift in wheat production, according to Rabobank. Should the weather phenomenon come to fruition, yields of palm oil, sugar and Robusta coffee are likely to take a hit. This will alter, in parts, trade flows in those currently oversupplied markets, given global demand for coffee and sugar is expected to remain robust.

Fishmeal supply has been increasing since El Niño’s last outbreak, with early 2018 Peruvian quota being the highest in recent years at 3.3m tonnes. If climate conditions are not stable, a lower quota will add upside pressure and volatility to fishmeal prices in 2019.

The annual Outlook reports, are produced by Rabobank’s specialist team of agricultural commodity markets researchers and animal protein analysts based around the world. The agricultural commodity report, titled ‘Trade War Turbulence, With Softs Landing’ is in its ninth year, while this is the fourth edition of the animal protein report ‘Growth Slows Down…As Doubt Gears Up.”

Please find here the press release for the Animal Protein Global Outlook 2019 and for the ACMR Global Outlook 2019:

Published: 15 November 2018, 07:00 CET

Press release Thu, 15 Nov 2018 08:25:36 GMT 258412
<![CDATA[Rabobank: 2018 EU-Wide Stress Test Results]]> Rabobank took part in the 2018 EU-wide stress test conducted by the European Banking Authority (EBA), in cooperation with De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), the European Central Bank (ECB), and the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB).

Rabobank notes the announcements made today by the EBA on the EU-wide stress test and fully acknowledges the outcomes of this exercise.

The 2018 EU-wide stress test does not contain a pass fail threshold and instead is designed to be used as an important source of information for the purposes of the SREP. The results will assist competent authorities in assessing Rabobank’s ability to meet applicable prudential requirements under stressed scenarios.

The adverse stress test scenario was set by the ECB/ESRB and covers a three-year time horizon (2018-2020). The stress test was carried out applying a static balance sheet assumption as at December 2017, and therefore does not take into account future business strategies and management actions. It is not a forecast of Rabobank’s profits. As Rabobank is still in the midst of implementing its strategic objectives the results only partly capture the effects of these objectives.

In the baseline scenario Rabobank’s fully loaded common equity Tier 1 ratio (CET1) would amount to 16.0% as per FYE 2020. Under the adverse scenario the CET1 ratio would end at 11.4% as per FYE 2020.

Rabobank remains committed to its strategic goals. The outcome of the exercise does not result in additional management actions.

The full results for Rabobank are available on the EBA website (via the link below).

Press release Fri, 02 Nov 2018 18:15:15 GMT 258211
<![CDATA[Mastercard and Garmin® Expand Garmin PayTM Contactless Payments to Maestro European Accountholders ]]> Mastercard, Garmin International, Inc., and Fit Pay, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of NXT-ID, Inc., today announced that the Garmin PayTM contactless payment feature will be available for Maestro cards issued by major banks in Europe, including Rabobank in Netherlands. The contactless payment feature and digital wallet, which is available on 10 of Garmin’s latest smartwatches, enables consumers to make highly secure contactless payments at near-field communication-enabled (NFC) point-of-sale (POS) terminals.

“By adding Maestro, our issuers will be able to expand this innovative solution to their entire consumer base, which will result in more connected and digitally native customers than ever,” said Paolo Battiston, EVP Digital Payments & Labs Europe, Mastercard.

Garmin Pay, which launched in November 2017, allows Garmin users to make contactless payments free from having their phone or wallet present. The payment feature includes a digital wallet, which is integrated into the Garmin Connect™ user application. Garmin Pay is now available on 10 of the company’s smartwatches, including the D2™ Delta S, D2 Delta, D2 Delta PX, fēnix® 5S Plus, fēnix 5 Plus, fēnix 5X Plus, Forerunner® 645, Forerunner 645 Music, vívoactive® 3 and vívoactive 3 Music.

“We are committed to expanding Garmin Pay support to our customers around the world, and we are excited to officially offer that service to Maestro cardholders,” said Joe Schrick, Garmin vice president of fitness. “Now, athletes and adventurers throughout Europe can leave their wallet at home when they go to the gym or for a run, making it easier than ever to just get up and go.” 

Maestro accountholders from numerous participating issuing banks throughout Europe, including KBC Bank in Belgium, Rabobank and ABN AMRO in Netherlands and BNL Gruppo BNP Paribas in Italy, will have the ability to add their account to Garmin Pay, enabling them to make “tap and go” payments at any point-of-sale terminal that accepts contactless payments. Additional issuers on the Maestro network will be added soon.

A February 2018 study by Mastercard, found that one quarter (24 percent) of Europeans expect to start using “tap and go” contactless payments with a smartwatch, bracelet, keyring or other wearable.  Between 2018 and 2017, contactless spending on Mastercard and Maestro grew by 145 percent.

“Adding Maestro is a major step forward in expanding the global footprint of Garmin Pay, which is now available in 26 countries and through more than 200 issuers,” said Michael Orlando, COO of NXT-ID and President of Fit Pay, Inc. “Mastercard and Garmin have been tremendous partners as we have begun providing consumers worldwide with more convenient, secure and seamless ways to pay.” 

Garmin Pay is powered by FitPay’s Token Requester Management Platform, which enables cardholders to securely add their payment credentials to devices that are integrated with FitPay’s token management solution. The platform uses tokenization, a payment security technology that replaces cardholders’ account information with a unique digital identifier (a “token”), to transact highly secure contactless payments.

View the complete list of issuing banks, payment networks and countries supporting Garmin Pay at

Press release Tue, 30 Oct 2018 14:00:47 GMT 258178
<![CDATA[Els de Groot proposed as Chief Risk Officer Rabobank]]> The Supervisory Board of Rabobank intends to appoint Els de Groot as Chief Risk Officer (CRO) and member of the Managing Board of Rabobank. Els de Groot will succeed Petra van Hoeken in these roles. The appointment of Els de Groot is pending regulatory approval and a positive recommendation by the Works Council. We expect that the approval processes will be completed by the end of 2018.

Els de Groot was Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Schiphol Group from 2012 to 2017. Before that she worked as an independent consultant and interim manager, including a role as interim Chief Financial & Risk Officer at Van Lanschot Bankiers. From 1987 to 2008 she held various management positions at ABN Amro Bank, including Executive Vice President Group Risk Management. Petra van Hoeken will continue as a member of the North America Board of Directors of Rabobank and of the Supervisory Board of DLL, Rabobank’s independent leasing business.
Ron Teerlink, chairman of the Supervisory Board of Rabobank: “Petra van Hoeken has laid a new and sound basis for the bank’s risk awareness. Drawing on decades of international experience she has brought about key improvements to our risk management and reporting system. Rabobank deeply appreciates Petra’s commitment and contributions and we are pleased that she will stay connected to the bank. As the bank moves to the next phase of its transition we are sure that Els de Groot will prove to be a dedicated Chief Risk Officer who will build on the foundations put in place under Petra’s leadership.”

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.

Press release Thu, 18 Oct 2018 17:41:11 GMT 257912
<![CDATA[Rabo Frontier Ventures invests in Agtech company ProducePay]]>

  • With financial solutions ProducePay helps farmers feed the world in a sustainable way
  • Series B funding was led by food & agri venture capital firm Anterra Capital
  • Total funding amounts $14m and follows ProducePay financing $400m of produce in 2017

Rabo Frontier Ventures (RFV), Rabobank’s strategic investment arm, invested in Agtech company ProducePay. This Los Angeles based company provides fresh produce farmers with financial resources, tech tools and data insights. ProducePay has secured $14m in a Series B Funding round, which was led by Anterra Capital.

ProducePay’s mission is to help farmers feed the world in a sustainable way, with financial resources, tech tools, and data insights. Addressing the lack of proper short-term access to financing and transparency within the farming industry supply chain, ProducePay has created the first ever means of securitizing perishable produce as a financial asset through the use of technology. Alleviating financial pressure for growers, while also freeing up cash flow for distributors, ProducePay provides immediate access financing for farmers and distributors in the United States, Mexico, Canada, Honduras and Chile for fresh produce sold in the United States.

“As the global leading Food & Agri bank, Rabobank aims to partner with revolutionary ventures in agriculture technology. ProducePay offers a solution that perfectly fits the Food & Agri ambitions of Rabobank. Their service addresses a significant pain point in the fresh produce value chain. The platform enables farmers to connect to food retailers in a more cost efficient and less risky way, of which all involved parties in the food value chain will benefit”, said Harrie Vollaard, Head of Rabo Frontier Ventures.

The Series B funding will be used to finance the next growth phase of the business as it scales its financing business and develops its software platform. It follows significant growth in 2017, in which the company financed $400m of produce, up from $17m in 2015. Pablo Borquez Schwarzbeck, CEO of ProducePay: “We have spent the last three years reinventing how the produce industry accesses short term cash needs and the transparency of their supply chain. To date, ProducePay has helped move over $850m of produce. By receiving financial support from Anterra Capital, the leading Food & AgTech VC, and Rabobank, the world’s premier Ag-focused bank, we are empowered to continue on the path to becoming the fintech leader of the produce industry.”

Rabo Frontier Ventures (RFV) is a €70 million strategic investment fund that focuses on high-potential early-stage Fintech and Food & Agri companies. RFV is a subsidairy of Rabobank Group and forms part of the bank’s innovation strategy.

For more information please visit the website of Rabo Frontier Ventures.

Press release Thu, 18 Oct 2018 09:32:37 GMT 257898
<![CDATA[Rabobank Food Loss Challenge Asia announces 20 Startups for the Pitch Day in Singapore]]> Focus on critical holistic solutions addressing the issue of food loss throughout the supply chain

Food Loss Challenge Asia by Rabobank is a competition where startups pitch their ideas to reduce food loss to food & agri industry leaders and investors. Through the Food Loss Challenge Asia, Rabobank aims to look for solutions with its partners to address the global problem of food loss.

Diane Boogaard, CEO Asia of Rabobank, comments: “With Asia's population projected to reach over 5 billion by 2050, we rely on innovative and technological solutions to help us curb food loss along the value chain and promote the sustainable development of rural prosperity in the region. Through our networks, we connect startups to our corporate and rural clients to help us in our strive to growing a better world together.”

Mark van Binsbergen, CEO of Rabobank Singapore and one of the Food Loss Challenge Asia judges says: “This is Rabobank’s first Food Loss Challenge event globally. We received an overwhelming number of 127 submissions from 29 countries across Asia, Africa, Middle East and Europe. The quality of submissions is very impressive. We came across many good proposals to address food loss, not only at the producer’s level but also across the whole supply chain.”

“The startups demonstrated an ability to deploy their technology with the awareness of how it would add value to their end-users,” says Arindom Datta, Asia Head of Sustainability Banking at Rabobank, and member of the Food Loss Challenge Asia project team. “Whilst the 127 solutions put forth addressed pain points along the food value chain, notably logistics, storage and refrigeration, many focused on enabling data-driven farm management especially for the small holder farming community. Many startups are trying to provide critical holistic solutions addressing the issue of food loss integrating diverse players in the supply chain,” Arindom continues.

To view the Top-20 selected startups, click here

Find out more about the Food Loss Challenge Asia at

Press release Fri, 12 Oct 2018 11:05:56 GMT 257829
<![CDATA[Food Waste Tech, Animal Antibiotic Reduction and Plant-Based Ingenuity at FoodBytes! ]]> Sustainable Food & Agriculture Startups Set to Pitch in New York City

FoodBytes! by Rabobank, the next-generation food and agriculture pitch competition-meets-networking platform, announces the startups selected to take the stage at in New York. The competition returns to the city for the third time on Thursday, October 18.

Through FoodBytes!, Rabobank looks for the world’s most cutting-edge food and agriculture innovators. The platform offers an opportunity for selected entrepreneurs to showcase their new products and technologies in front of investors, executives and media, as well as receive the mentorship, connections, insights and continuous community needed to grow their respective businesses.

The startups were measured against unique criteria including sustainability, scalability, innovation and team experience.

Animal health and reducing antibiotic use are dominant themes among the pitch companies, including an AI milk quality analysis tool and microalgae-based oral vaccines for the aquaculture industry. Restaurant efficiency is another major trend, with a food assembly robot and a back-of-house tool that reduces food waste by fifty percent. Additionally, novel plant-based CPG startups will take the stage with tomato-based “sushi” and cereal made from up-cycled juice pulp.

Please find here more information about the pitching companies, sponsors, awards, the program, how to purchase tickets and more.

Press release Fri, 05 Oct 2018 15:47:39 GMT 257683
<![CDATA[we. trade joins forces with three former Batavia consortium banks accelerating]]>, a leader of blockchain based digital trade services, and three banks from the former Batavia consortium have joined forces. CaixaBank, Erste Group and UBS have joined as banking partners and shareholders alongside the platform’s existing banks: Rabobank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, KBC, Natixis, Nordea, Santander, Societe Generale and UniCredit, bringing the number of shareholders to twelve.

The joint endeavour ensures that companies can access the platform’s unprecedented market reach and use their network for their international trade needs, distributing across 13 countries.

Following’s successful launch in June, the additional banking partners strengthen the platform’s position as the largest blockchain-based digital trade financing company in production. The shareholder banks have identified significant product and technology synergies with the former Batavia banks, as they have all developed similar solutions with IBM on Hyperledger Fabric, an open source blockchain framework hosted by The Linux Foundation. continues to expand and evaluate additional partners from both the banking and non-banking sectors to join its vision of an open and interoperable platform. The addition of CaixaBank, Erste Group and UBS extends’s geographical reach to the following European countries -Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.
The platform addresses the expectations of companies to make cross-border trade more straightforward through the extension of its digital trade network. The distribution force of participating international financial institutions positions as an innovator in the trade finance market and as a leading partner for its market adoption and expansion beyond Europe.
 “ welcomes CaixaBank, Erste Group and UBS as shareholders and users. This confirms the previously announced roadmap of and keeps us on track with our strategy of expanding our global coverage network over the coming quarters with banking and non-banking partners.”, said Roberto Mancone, Chief Operating Officer,

Read the full press release at 

Press release Tue, 02 Oct 2018 10:26:23 GMT 257604