‘Providing knowledge and access to networks is the future of banking’

Wiebe Draijer at Money20/20 in Copenhagen

“Our bank’s customer service has traditionally been based on providing financial products, but today’s financial needs are on a very different level. Products have become commodities which are interchangeable. That’s why we are transforming into a new bank to provide services that match the current era, current needs, plus help our customers set up innovative businesses,” Wiebe Draijer, CEO of Rabobank opened with a keynote address today at the start of Money 20/20 Europe in Copenhagen.

“Rabobank is a cooperative bank. We are driven primarily by the needs of our customers and members,” Draijer said. “In order to continue to provide the best possible service, we must know exactly what is happening in their lives, their problems, their needs, and what developments are impacting their businesses. We’re continuously looking for ways to help and support them in the best ways we can. This spurs a drive for innovation. Innovation is not an aim in itself for us, but rather a result of our drive and mission. We are developing our own FinTech startups and we get involved and invest in innovative external companies when strategically relevant. Through these companies, Rabobank is creating strategic options for the future and is helping build a sustainable and future-proof business model for our customers.”
Rabobank’s mission is to make a substantial contribution towards wealth and prosperity, and to resolve food issues worldwide. “We are making this happen not only by fulfilling financial needs, but also by providing access to both relevant knowledge and our network. For our customers, and also together with established partners and startups,” said Draijer. “Our innovation strategy focuses on helping our customers to innovate, being a bank for startups and reinventing our roots in both the Food & Agri and financial spaces.” In his keynote Wiebe Draijer mentioned Rabobank’s hybrid lending platform Rabo & Co, the Food & Agri accelerator program Terra, and the online community Global Farmers as examples of the strategy in action. 
Each year Rabobank screens 1000s of startups, accelerates 50 of them and begins experimenting with 30. Eventually, the bank selects and invests in 3 to 5 promising, high potential startups. Rabobank currently runs approximately 120 mid- and long term innovation projects with more than 700 people and participants involved in innovation inside and outside the bank.

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