Looking ahead Charity cash for dated Rabo items Housestyle launch meets mixed reception 8 International Holland in brief Cash dispenser for foreign currency Hair raising for charity Agri-competition Rising overdrafts February22/24 Asian regionaltradefinance conference, Singapore. March 7/8 Latin America regional trade finance conference, Sao Paolo. March 29/30 Rabobank international grain conference, hosted by Popular Rabobank, Madrid, Spain. April 15 1994 Annual Report published. May 16/18 Rabobank sponsors Interna tional Agribusiness Management Association conference in Paris. The now obsolete old-style Rabo corporate gifts and other items may be gathering dust in a cupboard in many offices, but not in Hong Kong.The branch's fun club organized a charity auction of 'old logo' bits and pieces to coincide with the staff Christmas party, raising US$1,500 for UNICEF. Good food and great music created the mood for Hong Kong's charity auction. The gen- erous bids made for outdated Rabo ties, coin bags, T-shirts and other souvenirs were clearly aimed at raising a substantial amount of cash for the UN's fund for children. But there may have been another reason for the top price paid for a Rabo piggy- bank. 'The piggy-bank raised US$430,' says Clara Fung of the fun club. 'Perhaps the co-worker who bought it thought it may bring her luck in 1995, because according to the Chinese calen- dar, this is the Year of the Pig.' Some customers love it, others cannot really see the point, but at least the introduction of the bank's new look gave rise to a lot of discussion at a whole range of activities and events organized by Rabobank mem- bers nationwide. Some member banks did it with fireworks, others with bal- loons, and one even launched the new housestyle by parachute. Some opted for a transformation before the very eyes of customers as staff installed the new brochure stands and replaced the old forms with the new. Reception was mixed, although the majority of customers thought the new look was eye-catching, colourful and introduced at pre- cisely the right time. 'You've had the rising line for so long, it was time for a change,' said one cus- tomer at the Zaltbommel mem ber bank. Another remarked: Td rather see less advertising and more service.' But in fact that is what the new housestyle is all about - real, improved service to clients, both retail and corpor ate. 'It's not just about a new look,' said Jose de Weert, office manager at the Leunen member bank. 'It's also about involving the customer in the way you work. What we're focusing on now is tailoring what the cliënt needs into a package designed for him, rather than trying to fit the customer into an existing product.' The cost of developing and implementing the new housestyle also gave rise to com- ments. 'While I understand you have to move with the times, I'd have prefered to see the money go to developing countries,' said one Deventer cliënt. In fact, alt hough the projected 68 million seems like an enormous amount of money, if it is spread over the organization, then the costs per office are only around NLG 35,000. These costs will be writ- ten off over a seven-year period and will thus represent 0.2 per cent of annual costs. Here fol- lows an overview of how the money has been spent: Facade advertising, eg. boards, neon signs,etc. 21 million Development costs - tools 14 million Introduction campaign 7 million Introduction meetings for staff 4.5 million Optical readability adjustments 3.5 million Old stock write-off 2 million Development housestyle 2 million Redesign Standard forms 1.5 million Chipcards telebanking 1.5 million Adjustments foreign offices 1.5 million Staff training courses 1 million Legal research and registration 1 million (All amounts in NLG; US$ 1ca. NLG 1.70) Member bank Vianen has in troduced a cash dispenser that also supplies foreign currency. The combined dispenser is part of the bank's direct service ap- proach and can be used by both Rabobank account holders and non-clients.'We've had a lot of positive responses,especially from non-clients/says manager Leo Friedrich.The direct service facilities are open until 20.00 on weekdays and all day Saturday. This type of initiative is a real way to show people we add value.' Computer specialist Arie Moolhuizen of the Staphorst- Rouveen member bank has put his razor where his mouth is. Fle promised to shave his beard if NLG 2,500 was raised for the Ruwanda appeal,and his head if the collection brought in NLG 5,000. Apparently, it was an offer too good to refuse, and the local bank made up the difference.So Moolhuizen is currently braving the chili of the Dutch winter- hairless.T don't mind/he says, 'it's all in a very good cause.' The bank's two major com- petitors on the domestic mar- ket, ABN AMRO and ING, are both increasingly active in the agri-sector. ABN Amro now has a 40-strong team of agri-advisors who make initial contact with farmers, while the local branches of ING make the first approach. The former currently hasan 11- percent market share, with ING's is between 4 and 5. The Central Bureau for Statis- tics (CBS) has calculated that Dutch retail account holders had an average overdraft of NLG 1,590 last year, comparedto 1,170 in 1993. According to the CBS, this is the result of the major banks' more flexible atti tude to being in the red. In the past, an overdraft had to be ap- plied for, now the banks them- selves offer the facility to clients.

Rabobank Bronnenarchief

blad 'Raboband International' (EN) | 1995 | | pagina 8