for the luture
ISSUE 34/17 OCTOBER 1994
The mission statement tells us where we want to go. In
his role as chair of the Central Banking Sector's
management committee. Rik van Slingelandt explains
why we have to get there.
'For some time now, the CBS has been engaged in a project
called "As good as the best". This initiative was based on the
notion that we wanted to be in the wholesale market as a top
bank, and if we were to achieve that, we were going to have
to make some real changes to the way we operate. Everyone
knows about the project, but they tend to see it solely in terms
of cost-efficiency and effectiveness. But that's not the whole
story. There is other aspect, and equally important aspect -
quality, and that is what the kick-off meeting was all about.
'We cannot achieve the goals we have laid down in the mis
sion statement, without putting a lot of energy and commit-
ment into improving the quality of service to our clients.
What we have to be aware of is that in the end the cliënt pays
all of our salaries. So, we have to put the cliënt fïrst at all times
and give him the kind of top class service we expect ourselves.
You know, the ten points we have formulated to promote
customer satisfaction are not that difficult to put into prac-
tice, and if we all apply them to everything we do, if we all
adhere to them at all times, then we'il automatically have a
'At present, we are not as good as we could be. We're still a
bank that is too focused on the division structure. This is his
torica!, of course, but what you see is that there is still a lot of
infighting between divisions and ridiculous things like inter-
departmental invoices for NLG 25 going back and forth.
We've really got to get rid of practices like that and create an
operation in which everyone sees the same objective, which
is to become a top wholesale bank based on mutually pro-
fitable relationships with our clients.
'The kick-off meeting was only the start. It was organized to
bring the people who are the CBS together - for the first time
ever. We've been scattered over buildings, and the aim was
to regroup here and get to know each other better. Because
unless we are committed to working with each other, we
won't be able to realize our potential to create the kind of
solid, client-oriented, quality bank that customers come back
to time and again, saying: you people work superbly...'
'I hate bankers who come in and
say: "What can we do for you?"
I've always wanted to reply:
"Nothing at all. Good-bye..."'
'We've introduced an annual
evaluation of our bankers and it's
based not only on performance
in that specifk year. It's cumulat-
ive, so they have to be good, not
only this week or this month, but
'Transactions which may be
everyday events for a bank can
be major projects for a cus
tomer. The customer can't al
ways react like a bank...'
'You don't learn about a com-
pany by reading annual reports
or quarterly statements. The only
way to gain real insight is to
come by and see us regularly and
get to know our people...'
'Your bank has to think with
you and come up with useful
ideas, share the good times and
the bad - it's like a marriage...'
'A bank should be willing to in-
vest time with us in understand-
ing and helping to resolve our
'The bank should listen to what
'Relationship banking can pro
vide substantial economie bene
fit to both cliënt and bank...'
'Don't try to be everything to
'Rabobank's innovation tempo is
'You could be more proactive...'
'I see Rabobank as a growing
puppy, it's all there, but it's not
'You could do more on the
image you project...'
'We're in contact with a few ac
count managers who have really
taken the trouble to get to know
us, and that's what we need...'
'There's a lot of room for im-
An Indonesian dientDr
Siswanto Sudomo of Prima
Comexindo, wants the same
things all clients want-
flexibility and efficiency.
'In terms of relationship man
agement, Rabobank does it bet
ter than most banks...'
'The activities of a single foreign
branch can't achieve Triple-A
status for the whole bank, but
lack of activity by a single
foreign branch can certainly
make the whole bank lose it...'
'Do communicate core com