press releases press releases en <![CDATA[Methodologies to assess physical risk and opportunities of climate change]]> Sixteen leading banks, among which Rabobank, convened by the UN Environment Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and supported by climate risk advisory firm Acclimatise, have released new methodologies that aim to help the banking industry to understand and manage the physical risks and opportunities of climate change in their loan portfolios.

  • The ground-breaking methodologies, published in the report Navigating a new climate, support the implementation of the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s (FSB) Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
  • Using the methodologies banks can begin to assess physical climate risks on key credit risk metrics for climate-sensitive industry sectors.
  • The guidance also sets out how banks can start to evaluate opportunities to support their clients in becoming more climate-resilient.
  • The methodologies, which were piloted for agriculture, energy and real estate portfolios, can be used by banks to assess a wide range of sectors in their loan portfolios.
  • These new methodologies are now available for public download from:
  • A complementary methodology focused on the assessment of transition risks and opportunities, was published in April.

The methodologies are designed to enable banks to be more transparent about their exposure to climate-related risks and opportunities, in line with the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s (FSB) Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

The banks leading this work and currently piloting the methodologies are ANZ, Barclays, BBVA, BNP Paribas, Bradesco, Citi, DNB, Itaú Unibanco, National Australia Bank, Rabobank, Royal Bank of Canada, Santander, Société Générale, Standard Chartered, TD Bank Group and UBS.

Using the methodologies, banks can begin to assess physical climate risks in their loan portfolios, evaluating the impacts on key credit risk metrics - Probability of Default (PD) and Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratios. The forward-looking assessments offer longer-term insights that go beyond the usual stress-testing horizon of 2-3 years.

Case studies from leading banks who piloted the methodologies are provided in the report. Rabobank focused the analysis of this pilot on the retail real estate sector’s susceptibility to flood risk in the Netherlands.

Read here the full UN Environment FI press release.

Bas Rüter, Director of Sustainability, Rabobank: “Rabobank’s participation in the UNEP FI pilot on the implementation of the recommendation of the TCFD is in line with our mission of Growing a Better World Together. The partnership with leading international organizations like UN Environment helps us in our drive to make a serious contribution to tackling the challenges brought about by climate change. The knowledge developed within the UNEP FI TCFD working group is an important stepping stone that can help us realize our commitment to the Paris Agreement targets.”

Global briefings to the industry will be carried out via webinars on Tuesday 14 August, 09:00 and 16:00 CET. To register please send an email to and/or

Press release Tue, 17 Jul 2018 11:57:59 GMT 256249
<![CDATA[Rabobank Global Pork Quarterly Q3 2018: Global Pork Trade Facing Unprecedented Change]]> Escalating trade tensions between the US and China, and within North America, are expected to greatly impact global pork trade in 2H 2018, according to Rabobank’s latest Pork Quarterly report.

“The major changes in global pork trade reflect uncertainties arising from the increasing political and economic tensions between the US and China,” says Chenjun Pan, Senior Analyst – Animal Protein at Rabobank. “New tariff measures on agri products will put great pressure on several markets – mainly the US, China, and Mexico – although the nature of the pressure will depend on each trading position.”

In addition, increased production across the globe in 1H is expected to continue weighing on prices in 2H. Disease could add further uncertainty to supply and trade, as African swine fever (ASF) is spreading in Europe. Changes in feed prices in many regions could pressure margins. The Rabobank Five-Nation Hog Price Index dropped below the average level seen from 2015 to 2017, reflecting market sentiment.

Other highlights from the Pork Quarterly Q3 2018 include:

Hog prices saw a brief rebound, shorter than expected. Small farmers continue to reduce their herd or exit under the pressure, while larger farms continue to expand, so that overall pork production is still increasing. The uncertainty from escalating trade tensions may prompt farmers to shift to herd liquidation sooner than expected. Pork imports are expected to decline in 2H, due to these trade disruptions.

Pork production continues to run ahead of last year’s level, but there is also slower-than-expected utilisation of newly-added slaughter capacity. Additional tariffs on US pork exports imposed by Mexico will significantly slow the US export business. Exports to China and Canada are also slowing down, due to rising trade tensions. While exports to other destinations are expected to improve, overall larger pork supplies will weigh on domestic prices in 2H 2018.

While pork prices are 17% lower than last year, the market has had no major ups or downs in recent months. Expectations of growing supply and rising feed costs in 2H 2018 may reduce farmers’ profitability. However, EU exports will likely benefit from trade tensions in other regions, with some opportunity already seen in Mexico. ASF remains a big concern as it spreads within Central Europe.

After experiencing a bumpy and challenging first half of the year, Brazil’s pork industry is expected to improve performance in 2H 2018. Rising trade tensions in other parts of the world will likely benefit Brazil, offering opportunities to increase exports to existing markets and gain access to new markets.

Press release Fri, 13 Jul 2018 16:18:34 GMT 256188
<![CDATA[Unique partnership between Rabobank and FRISS untaps the value of IBAN-Name Check for insurers to reduce fraud]]> Insurance companies can now also use the IBAN-Name Check, an innovative service that checks whether the name and the IBAN number match. To this end, Rabobank SurePay has entered into a cooperation agreement with FRISS, the worldwide provider of fraud and risk solutions for the P&C insurance industry.

“The IBAN-Name Check allows insurers to check bank details before they pay out a claim for damages”, says Marcel Rienties, co-founder of Rabobank SurePay. “This gives them a means to further improve the verification of payments.” Rienties is delighted with the cooperation with FRISS, which specializes in preventing and detecting fraud in the insurance industry.

FRISS has developed a leading platform for this that, on the basis of Artificial Intelligence (AI), provides risk scores for each incoming policy application or claim. The platform is now being used by numerous insurance companies around the world. Via the software platform of FRISS, insurers can add the IBAN-Name Check as an extra verification step.

“Thanks to linking SurePay to the acceptance and claims process of insurers, FRISS is now able to identify payment fraud at IBAN level”, says Philip van Waning, Data Partner Manager at FRISS. “The check is completely automated and saves the insurer a lot of time. It also prevents money from being paid out in fraudulent cases. IBAN-Name Check links up seamlessly with FRISS's mission to support honest insurance.”

The IBAN-Name Check has been developed by SurePay, a corporate start-up of Rabobank. The system provides a notification when the IBAN and name do not match the details of the bank or if a bank account has been cancelled. Since Rabobank introduced the check in the autumn of 2017, the number of incorrect transfers has been halved. Invoice fraud at Rabobank has been reduced by 70%. A month ago, ING, SNS, ASN and Regiobank also introduced the IBAN-Name Check.

The collaboration with FRISS is an example of how technological innovations in the banking sector can help the insurance industry. The IBAN-Name Check allows insurers to get an even better picture of their payment transactions in order to prevent fraud.

FRISS has a 100% focus on automated fraud and risk detection for P&C insurance companies worldwide. The AI-powered detection solutions for underwriting, claims and SIU has helped 150+ insurers to grow their business. FRISS detects fraud, mitigates risks and supports digital transformation. Insurers go live within 6 months, with fixed price projects, and realize an ROI within 12 months. The FRISS solutions help to lower the loss ratio, enable profitable portfolio growth, and improve the customer experience.

Press release Thu, 12 Jul 2018 10:52:45 GMT 256195
<![CDATA[ABN AMRO, ING and Rabobank launch finance guidelines for circular economy]]> ABN AMRO, ING and Rabobank today launched joint circular-economy finance guidelines internationally, inspired by the ambition to create a common framework for financing the circular economy worldwide. The UN High-Level Political Forum is a UN conference in New York that starts today. At HLPF 2018 countries and businesses share their ambitions and targets to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. These guidelines are a response to the growing need for a common language. This will provide a better insight into the contribution by the financial community for the transition towards a circular economy. Moreover, it will drive and enable financing and funding worldwide. On behalf of the FinanCE Working Group, they offer the guidelines as input for the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York.

ABN AMRO, ING and Rabobank are all members of an international tie-up: the FinanCE Working Group, which was set up in 2014 by PGGM among other players and has close links to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. It is made up of financial services companies looking to drive the transition to a circular economy. The financial community is in need of a uniform framework of guidelines for identifying, selecting, financing and enabling investors for initiatives based on new circular business models. The new guidelines help the financial community to establish whether or not initiatives are circular, for instance by monitoring recycling of products and materials and so ensuring that these retain and contribute the best possible multiple value. By introducing these guidelines, the three banks lay the groundwork for accelerating investment in and funding of circular business models. ABN AMRO, ING and Rabobank are encouraging financial players across the world to follow suit (‘right to copy’) – by drawing up these guidelines they are stimulating the work towards a uniform vision and best practices at a global level.

The transition to a circular economy provides an important contribution to key transitions in the economy and produces visible environmental benefits and innovative collaboration. In a circular economy, the value of products and materials is maintained for as long as possible with a common perspective for stakeholders in the economy. Waste and resource use are minimized, and when a product reaches the end of its life, it is used again to create further value. This can bring major economic benefits, contributing to innovation, growth and job creation. The Circular Economy Finance Guidelines aim to promote and develop the role that finance can play in this transition. Financial institutions have a major role in the transition from the linear to the circular economy, as the latter sees the advent of a multitude of new business models that require different types of finance, where knowledge of business models is key.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation also recognizes the importance of widely supported circular financing guidelines. “The financial industry plays a crucial role in accelerating the transition to a circular economy,” states Gerald Naber, Insights and Collaboration Manager at Ellen MacArthur Foundation. “With these guidelines, ABN AMRO, ING, Rabobank and the FinanCE Working Group are taking the lead in aligning banks and market players in their efforts to increase capital allocation to circular businesses.”

“Rabobank supports, encourages and actively contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Accord. The transition to a circular economy offers key opportunities to companies and those who finance them,” observes Alain Cracau, Director of Sustainable Business Development at Rabobank. “That’s why it’s imperative we join forces around the world now and arrive at a uniform vision of how the financial community can contribute to achieving a circular economy.”

"We aim to lead on the transition to a more circular economy, as we believe we can and will make a real difference. By joining forces with ING and Rabobank in launching finance guidelines, we will facilitate the pioneers that are shaping the circular economy. Together, we can ensure that circular becomes the new standard,” adds Fred Bos, Senior Managing Director of Commercial Banking Clients at ABN AMRO.

Annemein Kolk, Head of Commercial Banking at ING Nederland, comments: “Developing the circular economy is a key focus for ING. However, at this point we lack generally accepted guidance on circular finance. The CE Finance guidelines offer a starting point for what we can see as circular initiatives in our industry and we hope they will facilitate the journey to such financing for financial services companies across the world.”

This is a joint press release with ABN AMRO and ING.

Press release Mon, 09 Jul 2018 08:31:09 GMT 255960
<![CDATA[Rabobank: World Pork Trade Is Becoming Increasingly Complex and Competitive]]> Global pork trade will continue to grow, become more complicated and experience more competition, as can be seen in Rabobank’s World Pork Map 2018.

Rabobank's World Pork Map shows global pork production and consumption, and the extent of the largest pork trade flows around the world. “Global pork trade flows continue to change, both for exporting countries and destination countries,” says Jan Peter van Ferneij, Rabobank Senior Animal Protein Analyst. “And the pork products being traded also continue to adapt to the changing demand.”

The largest exporters – the EU, US, Canada, and Brazil – are increasingly competing in the same markets.

China has become the most important destination for pork and by-products. Other Asian destinations have also increased their demand for imports. These destinations are buying an ever broader range of products, from low-value products such as by-products to products with high added value.

Russia has almost disappeared as an importing country since 2014, and in future could start competing in world markets as an exporter.

Find here the Global Pork Map 2018
Find here the accompanying note

Press release Thu, 05 Jul 2018 10:55:00 GMT 256054
<![CDATA[FGH Bank sells loan portfolio to RNHB B.V.]]> FGH Bank has sold a part of its loan portfolio with an outstanding balance of approximately EUR 1.3 billion to RNHB B.V. Regulatory approvals have been obtained and the consultation process with the employee representative bodies has been completed. The transaction was announced on 13 March 2018. RNHB B.V. is fully committed to continue to serve FGH’s customers, who have been informed of the transaction.

The transaction fits Rabobank's commercial real estate strategy. Loans and customers of FGH Bank that are in line with the strategy have been transferred to Rabobank. The remaining portfolio has been sold. FGH Bank N.V. has legally merged with Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A. (CRUA) on 30 June 2018.

Press release Tue, 03 Jul 2018 08:14:45 GMT 255979
<![CDATA[ blockchain platform completes multiple real-time customer transactions]]> today confirmed that the first live trades have taken place on the platform. Over the last week several companies have executed trades, via 5 banks. These trades signify the first commercially viable open account trades harnessing blockchain technology.

Many banks and companies are looking for a more efficient and cost-effective way to trade internationally. The solution, built on the IBM Blockchain Platform, powered by Hyperledger Fabric, offers customers access to a simple user-interface, leveraging innovative Smart Contracts and opens up potential new trading opportunities.

“The platform is a live blockchain based trade platform. These transactions prove that is a robust and commercially viable proposition. We are delighted to have launched for the first time in the world, a blockchain based platform that enhances the overall customer experience when trading internationally. The next step will be getting buy-in from additional banks and their customers in Europe and further afield, said Roberto Mancone, Chief Operations Officer,

Roberto continued, “This live trade is a massive achievement for all involved. Not only has built a technical solution, it has also managed to create real collaboration across multiple banks and increased the connectivity of the trade ecosystem. This really is collaboration at its finest.” was established by Deutsche Bank, HSBC, KBC, Natixis, Nordea, Rabobank, Santander, Societe Generale and UniCredit to address the expectations of their customers to make cross-border trade more straightforward. The consortium has succeeded in meeting each banks internal governance and procedures requirements to make this innovation a reality.

Bart Leurs, Chief Digital Transformation Officer of Rabobank, echoed the sentiment, saying, “These trade(s) represents a great example of traditional banks innovating to meet their clients’ needs by working with Our bank wants to make cutting edge technology available to our customers when it comes to trading globally. is a trading solution that our customers need.”

"As has moved from pilot applications to conducting live transactions across borders, it has demonstrated the power of blockchain technology in an enterprise setting," said Parm Sangha, GBS Blockchain Leader, IBM. "To convene a large network of regulated banks and demonstrate how blockchain technology can help them gain efficiencies and provide greater transparency in live transactions is a disruptive model that has the potential to reshape the future of global trade finance."

At present is available across eleven European countries: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the UK. Participating banks: Deutsche Bank, HSBC, KBC, Natixis, Nordea, Rabobank, Santander, Societé Generale and UniCredit. expects to expand into additional markets in Europe and globally as further banking partners come on board.

More about

Press release Tue, 03 Jul 2018 06:00:00 GMT 255977
<![CDATA[Rabobank: response to the Dutch Government’s intention to cancel tax deductibility of CoCo coupons]]> Rabobank took notice of the letter to Parliament and the press release by the Dutch Ministry of Finance dated 29 June 2018, in which it is stated that the Dutch Government intends to cancel the tax deductibility of coupons paid by banks and insurance companies on Additional Tier 1 capital instruments (also: Contingent Convertibles (CoCo’s)) as from 1 January 2019.

Based on the press release and letter sent to Parliament, the current preliminary assessment is that such decision would focus on CRD IV compliant instruments. For Rabobank this means that the 5.5% EUR 1.5bn Capital Securities (XS1171914515) and EUR 1.25bn 6.625% Capital Securities (XS1400626690) could be in scope. Please note that there is no formal law change or amendment or any legislative proposal thereto available yet, so this is a preliminary conclusion.

The announced intention by the Ministry of Finance does not currently trigger any change in our views with regards to the role of Coco’s as part of Rabobank’s capital strategy nor does Rabobank intend to exercise a Tax Call if the Government’s intention or the materialisation thereof would constitute a Tax Law Change (as defined in the relevant terms and conditions of the capital instruments in scope).

Please find a link to the statement from the Ministry of Finance here.

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 Mon, 02 Jul 2018 19:00:01 GMT 255975
<![CDATA[Rabobank Global Poultry Quarterly Q3 2018: Trade Volatility, but Local Markets Bullish]]> Global poultry trade has become highly volatile, with Brazil very much at the centre of the turmoil. Aside from issues surrounding the weak flesh investigation and associated trade implications, the country has also faced a major truckers’ strike, which led to the massive culling of birds. Rabobank expects the global turmoil to continue in 2H 2018, as new issues are set to impact trade, such as rising US-Chinese trade tensions, the recent safeguard measures on Brazilian poultry set by China, and changes to Saudi Arabia’s halal stunning requirements. This could lead to further changes in global trade, along with a risk of volatility in feed costs and trade arrangements, according to the latest Rabobank report ‘Poultry Quarterly Q3 2018: Trade Volatility, but Local Markets Bullish’.

According to Nan-Dirk Mulder, Senior Analyst – Animal Protein at RaboResearch: “Global trade has recently become highly volatile, and we have seen some major movements in trade streams and prices due to several important factors.” These include:

  • In April, the EU removed 20 Brazilian plants from the export allowance list due to violation of EU import requirements regarding salmonella control. This is affecting the global breast-meat market heavily, as the EU is the world’s key importer of these products, and other potential buyers like the US are not open to Brazilian poultry imports. Although the EU reduced imports over January-April by only 9%, Brazil’s imports were down 45%.
  • Saudi Arabia is in the process of implementing its new halal allowance standards, which have already led to a drop of 30% in imports in Q1 2018. Saudi Arabia is Brazil’s number-one export market and a key buyer for whole chicken.
  • China has now issued a special safeguard on imports of Brazilian poultry. This will lead to implementation of company-specific import levies and will certainly impact import volumes of Brazilian poultry in China.
  • In response to recently-announced US taxes on Chinese imports, China has announced a set of import taxes on US agricultural products, including soybeans, as of early July. Although there is still room for negotiation, if this happens, it will also shake up global trade in the coming months, as Chinese feed prices will rise. As traders will move to Brazil to source soybeans, local soybean prices will also rise, impacting the already-weak Brazilian poultry industry. Others like the US, the EU, and South-East Asia might face lower feed prices.
  • Directly linked to the US-Chinese trade tensions is the introduction of a 25% tariff on US chicken imports into China, further delaying the prospect of US chicken accessing the market.
  • Mexico has imposed import levies on US pork. This will indirectly impact North American poultry markets. Prices in Mexico for pork – and indirectly for chicken – will likely rise. Aside from good performance for the Mexican chicken industry, this will also result in a more bullish market environment for imports of poultry.

As follow-up on this trade turmoil, Brazil’s poultry industry exports (-10%) and production (-3%) are set to decline this year, and this will lead to opportunities for alternative exporters in markets in which Brazil has to step back. Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Thailand, and Argentina are already increasing exports, and this is set to continue in 2H 2018.

Many local industries are still performing well, as supply in regions like the EU, South Africa, Mexico, Indonesia, and India is well-balanced, creating good, profitable conditions for the industry. The EU and Mexico are further set to benefit from the recent tensions in trade with rising local prices.

Press release Wed, 27 Jun 2018 08:14:50 GMT 255892
<![CDATA[Rabobank start-up Easytrade signs contract with Finnish bank]]> Rabo start-up Easytrade has signed a contract with the Finnish bank OP Financial Group. Easytrade offers a platform with which companies with a foreign currency account can automate the currency risk process. Rabobank will also make the currency platform itself available to a large proportion of its corporate clients.

Many companies struggle with currency risks because foreign exchange rates change on a daily basis. Calculating the current risks and expected cash flows is complex and time-consuming and often only one person is responsible for this process. In addition, the price may change unfavorably due to unexpected market conditions, which can leave companies dealing with losses.

Easytrade ensures a more efficient and better risk management for companies by filtering and covering all risks of foreign currency from the administration in just a few seconds. The system helps companies to enter all their orders, invoices or expected revenues and expenses and cover the risks according to company policy at the press of a button. ‘This saves companies unnecessary transactions, time and money’, says Niels van Daatselaar, co-founder Easytrade.

Easytrade was developed as a venture of Rabobank for corporate clients. In addition to Rabobank, the Finnish bank OP Financial Group is also going to offer the currency services to its corporates. 'We are very enthusiastic about Easytrade's proposition and look forward to working with them to offer better and better services', says Olli Lämsä of OP Markets.
There is interest from abroad for the unique Easytrade software, according to Van Daatselaar. ‘It has been developed for our corporates, but there is much broader enthusiasm than we initially assumed.’

From idea to start-up
Easytrade originated as a start-up from the Moonshot campaign, Rabobank's internal acceleration program. During the campaign, employees of the bank have the chance to come up with innovative ideas. Easytrade was one of the winners in 2015 and was then given the opportunity to work out the idea. Since the beginning of 2016, the team has spoken to more than 200 corporate clients with a turnover of EUR 10 million to 1 billion on hedging their foreign currency risks. The insights from these interviews formed the basis for the team to develop the Easytrade software.

Press release Tue, 26 Jun 2018 11:28:03 GMT 255870
<![CDATA[Rabobank accelerates making homes more sustainable]]> Today Rabobank launches the Rabo Groendepot (Rabo Green Construction Deposit Account) as extra possibility for clients to combine with its mortgages to finance measures to make homes more sustainable. This is a deposit that clients can get at their disposal to make their homes more sustainable. They can decide what measures that want to take during a 2 year period. The introduction of the Rabo Groendepot is part of an integrated approach to make the housing stock more energy-efficient. As of today, customers throughout the country can also use the renewed free online HuisScan (HomeScan). For example, Rabobank wants to make at least 40,000 homes more sustainable per year to label A.

More and more homeowners want to make their homes more sustainable, but when they take out a mortgage they often do not know what measures they have to take, what they will cost and which party can realize it. The moving house period is already hectic enough, especially in the current housing market. Michiel Kwaaitaal, Mortgage director at Rabobank: 'Today's house buyer lives for an average of 15 years in his house and has now secured his mortgage interest on average for about 15 years. That means that the chance is small that he will take out a new mortgage before 2030. Once he is in the new house, it often does not matter anymore to make the house more sustainable. That is why we now need an integrated approach to actually realize the sustainability ambition for 2030’.

The integral approach consists of:

  • 'Energy-saving measures' as a fixed subject during the mortgage interviews. This is mainly to increase the necessity and financial benefits for customers.
  • Rabobank has an exclusive partnership with independent specialist GreenHome. Starting today, customers throughout the country can use the new HuisScan free of charge, which indicates the possibilities for making the house more sustainable, what the investment costs and savings are and which companies in the neighborhood can realize this.
  • From now on, these investment costs can be paid from the flexible Rabo Groendepot. Customers get two years to determine which investments they want to make their homes more energy-efficient. Customers can use the green construction deposit account which is linked to their mortgage. They do not pay interest on the reserved amount in the account. After 24 months, the outstanding balance will be repaid on the mortgage without penalty.
  • Customers who do not want to or can’t increase their mortgage and VVE’s (owner’s associations) can take out an Energiebespaarlening (Energy Savings Loan) at a favourable interest rate, by making use of the national foundation Stimuleringsfonds Volkshuisvesting (SVN), and the loan made possible by Rabobank.

Getting a home from energy label C to A costs about 10,000 euros, on average. 'Many clients expect (subsidy) measures from the municipality or the central government, but it is questionable whether these measures will be implemented. Kwaaitaal says: ‘This means that customers are awaiting, while our own research shows that 97% of the homeowners can finance the sustainable improvements to their homes from their own resources or the surplus value of their homes. This can be done by using equity capital, by using surplus value of the house or by taking out a cheap Energiebespaarlening (Energy savings loan). As of today, this is also possible with the flexible Rabo Groendepot. Except the necessity to reach the climate goals, the investment brings comfort to the home and increase the value of the house. In addition, for many people, even with a loan, the investment results in lower housing costs due to lower energy bills’.

Bas Rüter, Director of Sustainability at Rabobank, explains that Rabobank sharpens its sustainability ambitions with this integrated approach. 'Rabobank is committed to working together with its customers in the Netherlands to have reduced their CO2 emissions in 2030 by at least 49%. Rabobank has been working together with governments, NGOs and other companies for years to help clients, both private and (large) business, to fulfil the climate goals. For the housing market, this means that the energy label for mortgages must go to label A on average. Government support for making homes more sustainable will become possible by building-related financing. This is a loan for energy saving measures that can be transferred to the next owner. That makes investing interesting now, even if you do not know how long you will stay in your home. Based on our local involvement, we want to play a crucial role in releasing residential areas of natural gas together with customers, governments and corporations. In the business market we are there for our customers with specialized advice and attractive financing to fully adapt their buildings within ten years. And of course we continue to finance the generation of renewable energy. We have the ambition to be 'the home banker of the energy transition' and thereby help to make the Paris Agreement a success’.

Press release Mon, 25 Jun 2018 09:14:52 GMT 255818
<![CDATA[Rabobank: Growth of the Dutch economy is past its peak ]]> The Dutch economy looks to have reached the high point of its rapid growth. There is still growth, but at a slower pace. Gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to increase by 2.8 per cent this year and 2.1 per cent in 2019. The growth is supported by strong domestic demand. There are however significant international risks. Trade tensions between the US and the EU and between the US and China could intensify further, oil prices could rise further, and a hard Brexit is still a possibility. This is the message from the Rabobank economists in their Economic Quarterly Report published today.

Increasing employment, growth of real wages, high consumer confidence and rising house prices are driving the increase in consumption. Business investment is also strong, driven among other things by higher corporate earnings and higher capacity utilisation. Nonetheless, the Rabobank economists needed to adjust their forecast for economic growth in 2018 and 2019 to the downside. “This is partly due to weak imports by our major trading partners in the first quarter of 2018, leading to a contraction in Dutch exports,” explains Rabobank economist Carlijn Prins. “We have also reduced our forecast for home sales, somewhat reducing our expectations for housing investment.”

Prins also believes that a Brexit in which the UK leaves the EU without new agreements is still a risk for the Dutch economy. “A ‘hard’ Brexit is still a possibility, and would lead to higher import tariffs and non-tariff barriers. This could cause serious damage to the Dutch economy, due to the close trade relationships between the Netherlands and the UK. Our estimate currently is for an orderly exit, involving a transition period followed by a free trade treaty.”

A sharp increase in import duties between the US and the EU could also harm the Dutch economy. “The damage could increase rapidly if we have an escalation into a full-blown trade war. If for instance the US and its trading partners impose import tariffs of 20 per cent on all imports, an open economy such as the Netherlands could lose 3 percentage points of growth until the end of 2022. This would amount to 20 billion euros,” says Prins.

Lastly, a further increase in oil prices could have negative consequences for the Dutch economy. Prins: “In a scenario in which the oil price rises to 115 dollars a barrel, the Dutch economy would lose 1.2 percentage points of growth until the end of 2022. Inflation would rise, and household purchasing power in particular would be seriously affected. The Netherlands is after all a net importer of energy.”

The global economy will grow by 3.8 per cent both this year and next. International economist Ester Barendregt: “We have adjusted our forecasts for various economies to some extent. We see slightly higher growth for countries including the US, Australia and New Zealand, while we are adjusting our forecasts for the eurozone and Brazil in 2018 among others to the downside. The uncertainties on the global stage have also increased. Trade tensions have intensified further in the past period, several emerging markets are facing serious challenges and there are various geopolitical issues lurking in the background. Global growth could thus be lower than we currently expect.”

Read the full Economic Quarterly Report

Press release Tue, 19 Jun 2018 16:42:16 GMT 255740
<![CDATA[Global Paper Packaging Industry Disrupted by Changes in China’s recovered paper (“RCP”) packaging Policy]]> The implementation of China’s new RCP import restrictions will be tough for US and European RCP exporters and provide opportunities for India and South-East Asia. Containerboard and boxboard producers outside of China are currently benefiting from lower recycled fibre prices. In China, these producers are facing a growing challenge of rising prices across the chain, according to Rabobank’s latest Supply Chains report “Turning a New Page: The Impact of China’s RCP Policies on Global Paper Packaging”.

  • Cost increases across the whole paper supply chain in China
  • Oversupply of RCP in the US and Europe requires new thinking
  • Opportunities for India and South-East Asia

China’s government has been implementing its long-term strategy to strengthen its waste quality policies since 2013, while RCP import restrictions have fast-tracked since 2017. The potential effect of these policies on the global paper packaging supply chain is high, as China has historically been the world’s largest importer of RCP; importing 28mln tonnes of RCP in 2016.

At the same time, China is also an importer of strategic importance to the EU and the US. In 2016, China accounted for about 50% of the EU’s total RCP exports and almost 70% of the US’ exports. Changes in import restrictions therefore have a significant impact on RCP exporters in both the EU and the US.

China’s policy measures have created an import gap for various RCP grades that poses challenges for China’s paper packaging industry. For example, the import gap of old corrugated containers (“OCC”) this year is estimated by Rabobank to be between 3.2mln tonnes and 8.2mln tonnes. This has led to higher production costs across the corrugated paper supply chain. In turn, this will be forcing a structural change as it will partly accelerate consolidation of the domestic industry and drive Chinese corrugated players to look for input from other sources. This is either via improving local sourcing of RCP, via imports of e.g. containerboard, or via foreign investments. Improved local sourcing would be facilitated through investments in the recycling infrastructure from Chinese authorities as well as private companies.

“Non-exporters of RCP, like Brazil, are hardly affected by China’s recent paper packaging policy changes, as we also do not expect China to compensate the import shortfall by importing substantially more pulp”, says Susan Hansen, Rabobank Global Strategist - F&A Supply Chains. “The US and Europe, on the other hand, do suffer, being the largest RCP exporters to China. Both exporters are currently facing a large domestic RCP oversupply and significant price declines for OCC and mixed paper. At the same time, margins of producers of containerboard, corrugated paper and boxes are positively affected as the price of these products remain high, driven by healthy demand“.

“Dealing with the RCP oversupply on a structural basis, however, requires new thinking from the US and the EU”, says Susan Hansen. “Increasing RCP exports to new markets, such as Mexico, India and South-East Asia, present an opportunity, albeit a limited one due to growing processing capacity constraints in Asia. Diversion to landfills or incineration are also not viable long-term options due to legislation and/or capacity constraints. In the longer term, substantial investment in innovative ‘quality’ recycling infrastructure is therefore a necessary step both in the US and the EU”.

Since China introduced its more restrictive RCP import measures, many RCP cargoes have been diverted to India and South-East Asia, giving paper mills in this region access to cheaper feedstock. The increased volumes of RCP might result in growth in containerboard exports into China. Investments in milling capacity across India and South-East Asia are likely to be needed in the medium term to keep up with a gradually growing level of capacity constraints. In addition, the high prices of feedstock in China might also be driving Chinese companies to set up or acquire new mills across India and South-East Asia.

Press release Thu, 14 Jun 2018 14:59:35 GMT 255616
<![CDATA[De Goudse Verzekeringen first professional investor on Rabo&Co ]]> De Goudse Verzekeringen is the first professional investor to make funds available on Rabo&Co. The insurer is to invest € 20 million in businesses that are Rabobank clients. Rabobank announced the collaboration at Money2020 today. Rabobank launched Rabo&Co in 2017 as the first hybrid financing platform for businesses to enable high net worth individuals and Rabobank to finance Dutch SMEs together.

Rabo&Co provides SMEs with broad access to financing while giving investors an additional investment opportunity. Rabobank introduced this form of peer-to-peer lending last year as a supplement to traditional forms of financing such as regular bank loans and leasing. Professional investors will be able to invest on Rabo&Co from today.

‘The collaboration with De Goudse Verzekeringen is the first step in the further development of Rabo&Co,’ says Marcel Gerritsen, Director of Business Banking Strategy and Innovation at Rabobank. ‘Over the past year, we have gained experience with high net worth Rabobank clients on the platform. We will now develop it further based on this investment. What’s more, we know that pension funds and insurers are looking for ways to invest in Dutch businesses. Like De Goudse Verzekeringen, they are prepared to invest significant amounts in the long term.’

‘We are proud to be the first professional investor to take part in this initiative,’ says Geert Bouwmeester, Chairman of the Board of Directors of De Goudse Verzekeringen. ‘Our mission is to enable businesses to operate more easily and successfully and plan to achieve this through our participation in Rabo&Co. The Rabo&Co construction provides De Goudse Verzekeringen with a new investment possibility. In this way De Goudse Verzekeringen can reinvest part of the premiums it receives in Dutch SMEs.’

Rabo&Co is an online platform on which business loans are offered. The co-lender gains new investment opportunities via Rabo&Co by providing a loan to one of the bank’s business clients together with Rabobank. Rabobank always participates in the loan itself. It manages and administers the loan and serves as the contact for the SMEs. Rabo&Co is one of the initiatives through which Rabobank fulfils its mission of ‘Helping businesses grow’.

Press release Tue, 05 Jun 2018 08:36:22 GMT 255434
<![CDATA[Rabobank: Dare Not to Dairy – How the Industry Can Respond to the Rise of Dairy-Free]]> Dairy alternatives are on a rise as consumers are increasingly going dairy-free, particularly when it comes to fluid ‘milk’ used on things like cereal or in coffees. More recently, biotechnology has entered the arena, brewing milk proteins through biofermentation. The time is right for the dairy sector to reflect on the success of alternative dairy products and to consider applying those lessons to dairy, according to the latest RaboResearch dairy report Dare Not to Dairy -- What the Rise of Dairy-Free Means for Dairy… and How the Industry Can Respond.

Dairy alternatives have competed in the dairy space for decades, but competition has intensified as dairy alternatives broaden in types, styles, and categories of product. Global retail sales growth for dairy alternatives has soared at a rate of 8 percent annually over the last ten years. With retail sales valued at USD 15.6bn, dairy-free ‘milk’ represented 12 percent of total fluid milk and alternative sales globally in 2017, according to Euromonitor.

Nutrition, price, and flavour tend to favour dairy, but changing consumer perceptions around health, lifestyle choices, curiosity, and perceived sustainability are increasingly drawing more people to select ‘dairy-free’ products.

“Global demand for dairy is expected to grow by 2.5 percent for years to come, with demand for non-fluid categories offsetting weak fluid milk sales,” says Tom Bailey, RaboResearch Senior Analyst – Dairy. “While it’s not essential to diversify into dairy alternatives, it would be wise for the dairy industry to at least learn one thing from the success of dairy alternatives, which may be putting the consumer first and trading in the old grass-to-glass model for glass-to-grass.”

The challenge for dairy lies mostly in fluid milk, where retail sales in western Europe (USD 18.6bn) and the US (USD 12.5bn) declined at an annual rate of 5 percent and 3 percent, respectively, in the five years to 2017, according to Euromonitor.

The results over the last five years have favoured dairy players who have invested in milk alternatives across the supply chain – from planting almond trees to buying brands. The investments in dairy alternatives have shown returns above standalone dairy.

Press release Thu, 24 May 2018 11:37:47 GMT 255185
<![CDATA[Rabobank: Towards a Sustainable Minimum for Livestock Antibiotics]]> Although there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution, Dutch farmers have shown that reducing antibiotics use in livestock farming is possible without negatively impacting overall economic and technical farm performance, according to Rabobank latest report ‘Breaking the habit: Antibiotic Reduction in Livestock Farming’. A sustainable minimum use of antibiotics balances management of antimicrobial resistance, productivity, animal welfare, and consumer interest.

This development counters the risk of antimicrobial resistance, which is a key driver for policy makers and industry players around the world to reduce the sub-therapeutic use of antibiotics. “In mainstream animal protein production, a sustainable minimum for antibiotics usage is the carefully formulated answer to a complex equation of preventing antimicrobial resistance, maintaining efficiency in production, improving animal welfare, and satisfying consumer demand”, says Karen Heuvelmans, industry analyst Farm Inputs at Rabobank.

The sector substantially reduced its use of antibiotics, without negatively affecting its competitive position, in a globalised market. One of the key success factors in the Netherlands was setting up a government taskforce, together with the livestock sector, to determine appropriate goals and actions.

Antibiotic use in livestock farming is declining. Following warning signs of growing antimicrobial resistance (AMR), the risk of severe negative socioeconomic and public health consequences triggered stricter regulations. Several European countries banned the use of certain antibiotic growth promotors (AGPs) during the 1990s and the EU saw a complete ban on all AGP use by 2006. Today, several countries across the globe have legislation in place to curb farm antibiotic use.

In aiming for a reduction target, antibiotic use in the Dutch livestock sector decreased by 64% (2016). In recent years, this reduction was supported by a move towards slower growing chicken breeds in the broiler sector. Despite the reduction, the annual results of ‘conventional’ Dutch livestock farms show no negative impact on key farm performance indicators, e.g. financial results, animal health costs, feed efficiency, and mortality rates.

Then what is the sustainable minimum for antibiotics usage, to solve the actual problems at hand? In mainstream animal protein production, a sustainable minimum is the carefully formulated answer to a complex equation (see figure below).


Press release Tue, 15 May 2018 09:19:20 GMT 255000
<![CDATA[First guidance for banking industry to become more transparent on climate-related risks]]> Sixteen leading banks from four continents, convened by the UN Environment Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), today published a jointly developed methodology to increase banks’ understanding of how climate change and climate action could impact their business. Rabobank is one of the participating banks.

This understanding is fundamental to enable banks to be more transparent about their exposure to climate-related risks and opportunities in line with the TCFD. It will also inform banks’ strategies to contribute to and benefit from the low-carbon economic transition and help them engage and support their customers to that effect. This is key because the climate-related risks and opportunities that banks face arise primarily from their services to clients.

The methodology and supporting materials are the first output of a unique and collaborative process over the past 10 months. It has brought together various functions from within the banks including credit risk, stress testing, sustainability and business development with leading scientists, and risk and investment management experts.

Read here the full UN Environment press release.

Bas Rüter, Director of Sustainability, Rabobank: “Rabobank’s participation in the UNEP FI pilot on the implementation of the recommendation of the TCFD is in line with our mission of Growing a Better World Together. By partnering with leading international organizations like UN Environment we aim to make a serious contribution to tackling the challenges brought about by climate change. Assisting in the realization of the Paris Agreement is part of our operational compass. Adequately managing the associated transitional risks is part and parcel of this commitment.”

Press release Thu, 26 Apr 2018 12:02:46 GMT 254618
<![CDATA[Rabo Frontier Ventures acquires stake in GoCredible]]> Rabo Frontier Ventures (RFV), Rabobank’s strategic investment arm, is investing in Netherlands-based FinTech company GoCredible by acquiring a stake in the company. In entering into this venture, the two companies are consolidating their partnership, which they launched in 2016.

The partnership between Rabobank and GoCredible resulted in 2017 in the conditional payment method Rabo Safe2Pay. Instead of paying the seller directly, users of this service transfer the funds to a suspense account first, where the payment is then held pending delivery and subsequently transferred to the seller. GoCredible supplies the smart contract technology for the payment method and the link to the payment terms, as well as being responsible for the technical integration of the systems of the parties concerned. PostNL is already using the technology for its Gelijk Oversteken service, as part of which sellers receive their payment only after the buyer has received the order. GoCredible previously created a similar service for the payment of used cars called Autobetaalservice. 
GoCredible’s innovative smart-contracts payment service is a convenient solution for unlicensed businesses that nevertheless seek to conduct business securely.
In strengthening their successful partnership with the objective of improving the trustworthiness of commercial transactions, Rabobank and GoCredible will be creating both economic and social value. The two partners are in the process of developing several new propositions.
Rabobank and GoCredible intend to create further products and services together in the future that will take the company to the next level of its development.
Rabo Frontier Ventures CEO Harrie Vollaard: ‘The combination of GoCredible’s agility and speed and Rabobank’s solidity and experience is creating new opportunities and will make it possible for us to develop and market new products and services more quickly. GoCredible co-founder Teun Lammers is equally optimistic about the opportunities presented by the future partnership: ‘We look forward to further expanding our relationship with Rabobank, both in terms of investment and in terms of business development.’
The GoCredible venture marks the seventh investment entered into by Rabo Frontier Ventures, which was established by Rabobank in March 2017. The stated mission of the 60-million-euro fund is to invest in high-potential FinTech and Food & Agricultural companies which align with the bank’s strategic direction and offer new long-term opportunities for clients.
For further information:
Press release Wed, 18 Apr 2018 10:42:21 GMT 254406
<![CDATA[Rabobank desensitizes client cata during testing phase with IBM]]> Rabobank is working with IBM to use cryptographic pseudonyms on its client’s personal data to innovate and comply with new financial regulations in the EU. Desensitized data makes it easier for Rabobank to use the data for performance testing for the development of new innovative technologies and services, such as mobile apps and payment solutions.

Starting on 25 May, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) seeks to create a harmonized data protection law framework across the EU and it aims to give citizens back control of their personal data, whilst imposing strict rules on those hosting, moving and 'processing' this data, anywhere in the world. 
Rabobank is addressing GDPR compliance across a number of activities. In one project with IBM the bank has cryptographically transformed terabytes of its most sensitive client data, including names, birthdates and account numbers, into a desensitized representation – meaning, it looks and behaves like the real data, but it’s not.
“It’s critical for Rabobank to use data which is as close as possible to production during the testing phase, so when we go live, we are confident that our services will perform,” said Peter Claassen, Delivery Manager Radical Automation, Rabobank. “Being able to test and iterate using pseudonymized data is going to unleash new innovations from our team bringing even more security, innovation and convenience to our clients.”
Pseudonymization enhances privacy by replacing most identifying fields within a data record by one or more artificial identifiers, or pseudonyms, i.e. replacing a real name with a fictitious one. In addition, for GDPR the data is also processed in such a way that it can no longer be attributed to a specific data subject without the use of additional information. For example, without pseudonymization knowing the date of birth, and the home address can reveal the person’s identity.
“IBM analytics software combined with our cryptographic desensitization engine achieves pseudonymization by converting the data into individual hash-based token keys which are completely impermeable today and in the future, even from a fault-tolerant quantum computer many years from now,” said Michael Osborne, cryptographer, IBM Research. “This research is now a commercial technology available to address multiple compliance legislations, cross industry, around the world."
Rabobank and IBM Services have been running the project for the past year. Multiple key applications and platforms have been pseudonymized, including the current bank account and savings systems on mainframe, Linux, Tandem and Windows platforms. 
Press release Thu, 05 Apr 2018 11:00:29 GMT 254114
<![CDATA[Rabobank Global Dairy Quarterly Q1 2018: Turn the Pressure Down]]> A robust import programme by Chinese buyers, combined with a weather-impacted New Zealand season, were the perfect ingredients for the short-term rally in Q1 2018. In the background, the export increases, as production growth expanded across all other regions, according to the latest RaboResearch report ‘Dairy Quarterly Q1 2018: Turn the Pressure Down’.

The export engine has been running on most cylinders since mid-2017. However, weather risks have now been extended beyond New Zealand. Europe battled a cold front, Australia had localised bushfires, and there are drought conditions at play in Argentina.

“The peak period of milk production in the Northern Hemisphere still looms as a pressure point for the global market in Q2 2018,” according to Michael Harvey, Senior Analyst – Dairy. “However, Rabobank does not see the Northern Hemisphere peak milk flows completely overwhelming the global market. EU milk production growth started 2018 on a high note, but is also expected to trend lower throughout the year.”

Previous expectations for the extent of pressure on global markets to come in Q2 2018 have moderated, with a global rebalance looming in 2H 2018.

The European Commission does not intend to purchase any skim milk powder (SMP) at the fixed intervention price in 2018, instead focusing on clearing the 375,700 tonnes of intervention SMP stocks, which will continue to pressure SMP prices and likely divert milk solids to other product streams. Farmgate milk prices continue to weaken in Q1 2018 (albeit from a high base), and more downward pressure is expected. Meanwhile, the risk of higher feed prices is emerging.

Press release Tue, 03 Apr 2018 13:48:30 GMT 254047