Rabobank posts net result of EUR 2,786 million in 2022
The economy encountered major disturbances in 2022. High energy prices, inflation impacting the cost of everyday life and low consumer confidence affected the economy. All were in some way or another related to Russia’s unlawful war in Ukraine. And all of them also have had an impact on the performance of Rabobank. Yet due to the overall sound business performance and the upside provided by the quick turn in the interest rate environment, Rabobank’s net result for 2022 amounted to EUR 2,786 million.
Several governments came with support for private individuals and SMEs to ease the drop in purchasing power and the high energy bills. Although this helped, it could not prevent low and sometimes even negative growth rates occurring in most economies. Besides the pressure of high inflation, clients also faced a tight labor market, scarcity of resources and the need to play a part in meeting the Climate agreement goals.
Rabobank’s business performance continued to be strong in 2022 despite the unstable economic conditions. Together with the higher interest rate environment, this culminated in solid financial results, with a net profit of EUR 2,786 million (compared to EUR 3,692 million in 2021). Rabobank’s decision to completely withdraw from Russia and the worsened macroeconomic outlook resulted in an increase in loan impairment charges. However, this was partly offset by a release of unused Covid- 19 provisions. As a consequence, the loan impairment charges remained relatively low and amounted to EUR 344 million (8 basis points of the average loan portfolio) in 2022 (compared to a release of EUR 474 million in 2021).
Net interest income increased by 10%, also driven by higher volumes. The bank saw improved margins on deposits, whereas some margin pressure was felt on new mortgage and business lending. Net fee and commission income continued to increase, largely as a result of higher fees on payment accounts. Due to the volatile environment, negative revaluations of our equity participations impacted our financial results in 2022, whereas they positively contributed to Rabobank’s revenues last year.
Expenses were stable compared to last year. In 2021, Rabobank’s expenses included provisions to enhance its Financial Economic Crime (FEC) program and to compensate clients with specific consumer credit products. Corrected for these provisions, expenses for 2022 are higher, which is mainly driven by an increase in staff costs related to FEC activities, investments in IT infrastructure and collective labor agreement increases. Despite continued efficiency measures, pressure on the overall cost level is expected to persist in the coming years as additional investments are deemed necessary and inflationary pressure lingers on.
Rabobank’s loan portfolio increased by EUR 14.4 billion to EUR 432.1 billion. The worldwide Food & Agri portfolio increased by 10% to EUR 113.3 billion. The position in the Dutch residential mortgage market remained solid with a 17% market share of new production. The mortgage loan portfolio slightly increased to EUR 193.0 billion. Deposits from retail and wholesale clients strongly increased by EUR 24.0 billion.
The cost/income ratio was stable at 63.9% (2021: 63.8%) and Return on Equity amounted to 6.2% (2021: 8.8%). Risk-weighted assets increased by EUR 28.5 billion to EUR 240.4 billion, mainly driven by the implementation of the macroprudential add-on for mortgages and model changes reflecting the EBA guidelines in the first half of 2022. Partially mitigated by Rabobank’s healthy financial results, this led to a CET1 ratio of 16.0% (2021: 17.4%). At this level, the bank continues to comfortably meet its capital requirements and its ambition level of a CET1 ratio of >14%.
Late 2022, Rabobank communicated in respect of two investigations involving the bank; one by the Dutch Public Prosecutor and the other by the European Commission. The Dutch Public Prosecutor is investigating the bank’s compliance with the Dutch Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Act (Wet ter voorkoming van witwassen en financieren van terrorisme – Wwft). The Commission is investigating the bank’s compliance with EU competition law. Rabobank is cooperating with the authorities in both investigations. A remediation program is operational to ensure that the bank adequately meets the requirements of the Wwft. To execute the plan, the group’s worldwide FEC workforce expanded to over 7,000 FTEs in 2022 (2021: 4,650 FTEs). Rabobank is committed to take all necessary measures to prevent financial crime.
Road to Paris
“Amidst the economic uncertainty, we have kept track on our mission Growing a better world together,” chair of the managing board Stefaan Decraene states. “As a global food and agriculture bank we see transitioning to climate-smart agricultural practices as a critical component of building a resilient food system. It goes without saying this counts for the Dutch agricultural sector as well, where we want to play our part in overcoming the challenges the sector faces. Rabobank is fully committed to renewable energies, and we intend to invest up to EUR 30 billion in the energy transition in the coming years. In 2022, as one of the first diversified banks worldwide we transparently showed the footprint of our portfolio. We also published our 'Road to Paris' report where we described how we want to help the twelve highest CO2 emitting sectors in our portfolio meet Paris Agreement climate objectives and what challenges remain on their decarbonization pathways. We are well aware these steps are modest in light of the work that remains to be done. However, they are vital and needed to enable progress on our mission as a cooperative.
A lot has happened in the past year and the challenges facing the future are not getting any easier. That is why I would like to thank our clients and members for their trust in Rabobank, and express my gratitude to our employees for their work and commitment to our goals.”
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