in briefs Write to reply Looking ahead Expansion in Singapore You ask - we answer 2 What's NewS Issue 1 January/February 2000 Abrisk pace of change - together with the usual degree of uncertainty - were the twin halltnarks of 1999. But, chairntan Hans Smits noted in his New Year's message to all staff, we are all aware of the necessity involved. Hence, the reorganization now underway, both internally, with an even more intense focus on our core F&A business and a more proactive style of relationship management, as well as externally, with our ambition to cement a far-reaching Hans Smits forecasts the year ahead cooperation pact with Germany's I)G Bank. Shrewd choices are called for in the months ahead: we intend to serve a rigorously selccted core of internatio nal corporate clients, and will deploy our resources in the money and capital markets in the most discriminating way. Looking ahead to the opportunity offered by our link with DG, Smits underlined the objective of heightening our profile on what is becoming a genuinely pan-European market in financial products and services. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) recently announced that it would grant Rabobank Singapore a restricted banking license, to take effect 1 October 2000. The upgraded banking license will allow our branch in Singapore to substantially expand Singapore Dollar potential to its customers and to take advantage of the growing local capital markets. Roelf Hagoort, general manager of the Singapore branch, has formcd a task force of senior managers front commercial and treasury businesses to identify opportunities and develop strategies in order to capture the full potential of the restricted banking license. The license comes as a result of RI's continuing commitment to the expansion of Rabo Singapore's role as regional hub in Asia. Several meetings occurred to reinforce this commitment, including a visit from Hans Smits, chairman of Rabobank Group with Brigadier General Lee Hsien Loong, chairman of MAS. The decision by MAS demonstrates continuing efforts to open Singapore's financial markets and to liberalizc the commercial banking sector. The liberalization program allows a limited nuntber of foreign banks in Singapore for an upgrade of their present license over a period of three years if they meet the criteria set by MAS. For more information, please check yottr public folders/Newsletters/What's NewS/issue January/February. Masthead Q In the millennium flashback (10/1999), you said the housestyle launched in 1995 was 'controversial'. Why? A There are a number of reasons. One is that the logo broke new ground, especialty for financial institutions. Most bank logos are geometrie and cold - Rabobank's certainly was. Market research in the Netherlands showed that recognition of the logo by people in the street was very low. People who did recognize it feit the old blue line was dated and hard-edged. Everyone in the bank agreed we needed a fresher corporate identity that reflected the customer focus and commitment to community. The nickname 'guy in the pie' was actually coined in our New York branch. At the time, Rl people around the world were concerned that the new logo was probably right for the retail organization, but may not go down too well in the corporate world. Five years later, the new logo is very well known in the financial world. Q I was surprised to see you mark London's start as 1982. As far as I remember (and I was there), we started as a rep in 1982, but didn't become a branch until 1985. The pic you used was taken at the branch opening in 1985; I am completely sure of this as l'm standing right behind Henk Gentis. Lynne Quilliam, London Branch. A You're right, of course, Lynne. The problem is when do you start counting? Some offices only take branch status years after they were originally set up - so do you count the year they became a branch, or does the start-up count? We couldn't always work it out either... Editorial Staff Coordination and Distribution Mirjam Diepenbrock, Marketing Rl Managing Editor Anne Lavelle (The Write Company) Editorial Address Rabobank International Marketing, UC 6652 P.O.Box 17100,3500 HG Utrecht Telephone +31 30 216 2433 Telefax +31 30 216 1976 Rabomail Editors David Brown, Naomi LindtLisa Petrie mirjam.diepenbrockia' Design the writt: comfmn\ .Amsterdam Lithography Zetterij Niek van Dijk, Amsterdam Printing Drukkerij Cliteur bv, Amsterdam Please send address changes by e mail to Mirjam Diepenbrock, Marketing Rl What's NewS is complimentary for internal staff. Rabobank Group yearly subscription price, NLG 125

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