Vision 1994 in Antwerp Holland Staff communication magazine for the Rabobank Group Curcicao special China reviewed Sydney merchant bank opens Malaysia appointment Looking ahead in BRIEF Opening hours Laura revamp Flood damage ISSUE 26/21 FEBRUARY 1994 The international division's oldest office in focus on page 3. The bank has been discussing a joint venture with the Agricul- tural Bank of China from some time. However, over time both partners' strategie objectives have undergone shifts. 'We have now decided to examine other options and are currently looking at the possibility of a re- presentative office in Shanghai,' says Maus Barendrecht, 'We will have a presence in China, but are still in the process of defining how we approach this immense- ly important market.' The upgraded Australian oper- ation was officially opened by Henk Visser on February 10. A report on the Sydney office's new activities will appear in the next issue. Klaas-Jan Evertsen will begin the bank's representative office in Kuala Lumpur on June 1He will be reporting to Singapore. As yet, no appointment has been made in Thailand. A world conference on the fresh and processed fruit sector will be co-hosted by Rabobank and the Port of Rotterdam in that city on March 10. The Antwerp presentation was something of an experiment. The concept of bringing top spokes- people from the bank, in this case Arthur Arnold and Wim van den Goorbergh, to events of this kind is relatively new. But, following the success of this initial meeting, plans are being developed to hold similar events at other foreign offices. Chaired by GM Frans van Bijs- terveld, the meeting attracted around 50 clients who heard Van den Goorbergh outline the bank's view of what it expects will hap pen over the coming year. Says Van Bijsterveld: 'We can't predict the future, be we can make an educated forecast, based on our experience.' During the lively question and answer period, clients asked pointed questions on Rabobank's perception of the troubled Bel- gian economy. They weren't dis- appointed. According to Van den Goorbergh, ifthe Belgian govern- ment cannot gain consensus on its so-called 'crisis plan', then the Belgian frank, untü last year one of the strongest EMS currencies, maybefacinga 1 O-percent deval- uation. His answer made head lines. The striking aspect of the clients' questions and remarks was the exasperation expressed at their government's apparent fail- ure to address structural social problems. The bank agrees that this is a root cause of many of the difficulties confronting numer- ous European economies. 'Rabo bank has confirmed what we've been thinking,' said one cliënt from the construction sector after the presentation. 'It's good to know your bank shares your view.' A steel trader took issue with one of Arnold's remarks: 'He said traders tended to take more risks than other sectors, but I don't agree. We're always covered, it's Standard practice.' Like many of the other clients, he said he bank- ed with Rabobank because of ex- tremely competitive pricing and personal contacts with account managers. 'It's very useful to come to events like this,' added a wheat- flour dealer. 'You read the papers and you try to keep up to date, but it helps to hear a concise over- view of what is happening, even if you don't agree with everything that's said. It gives you something to think about.' Following a survey on the quali- ty of cliënt service, the member bank in Houten has decided to change its opening hours. For a trial one-year period from April 1, the bank will remain open un- til 17.30 from Monday to Thurs- day and until 19.00 on Fridays. The bank believes the changed opening times will prove very convenient for customers, espec- ially commuters. The Laura automation project is to be adjusted. Originally, OS/2 had been selected for the nation- wide system, this will now be re- placed by DOS/Windows. The difficulty with OS/2 is that build ing new systems is a time-con- suming and costly business. It now appears that developments in software applications are so rapid that many of the packages used by banks are already avail- able off the shelf. The adjusted approach will focus on develop- ing a growth model, rather than a complete new system. The flooding that hit large areas of Germany, Belgium, France and the southern Netherlands caused no less than NLG 100 million worth of damage in this country alone. A national appeal has been launched to assist the victims, many of whom lost not only their homes, but everything in them. According to the Roer mond region's deputy director, Buiting, initial estimates put damage at local member banks at around NLG 2 million. HHH The presentation of Rabobank's Vision 94 for the Antwerp office's clients was a major success in more ways than one. The bank's forecasts on the Belgian economy actually made headlines in national dailies there and clients agreed this was an ideal way to cement relations between bank and customer.

Rabobank Bronnenarchief

blad 'Raboband International' (EN) | 1994 | | pagina 1