COVER STORY Rabobank Nederland Customers International cooperatives Rabobank International 14 Recent events have caused some companies to study Rabobank's values more closely. According to Beerman, however, many customers in the Netherlands are very familiar with Rabobank's cooperative model. "The most important aspect for me is that we are very close to our members, whether they are individual consumers or large corporates, because we are locally organised. Another important element is continuity; we don't have to run after short-term profits or control our performance on the stock market, but instead we can concentrate on longer term strategie goals." Internationally, customers are less aware of the cooperative values, Beerman believes. "For international customers the cooperative model is not a means in itself. Where they do have an interest in the cooperative model is when it increases the stability of our organisation, the continuity of our people and, of course, the quality of our financial arrangements. As a cooperative bank we're committed to our member clients, and our large customers, like traders and stevedores in the Rotterdam port, know that and appreciate it." Each cooperative model is different, with a separate set of goals and principles, and a unique legal structure. That, says Bert Mertens, is the main reason why Rabobank's Dutch model couldn't be transposed directly onto Rabobank's international operations. Despite this, Mertens is a keen advocate of change. "Not every country has the same legal structure as the Netherlands, which means we couldn't just use the Dutch model abroad - but then that's not the main point. The main point is that we begin to establish systems where customers have an impact on the decision-making within the bank. And to get to that stage, we need to convince local members in the Netherlands that an international cooperative organisation, in whatever form, would be good for Rabobank. If it's possible to coordinate Rabobank's core values in local structures established in other countries, then we need to do it." Bouke de Vries agrees that a simple transposition of the Dutch structure outside the Netherlands would fait. He believes there has to be an appetite from Rabobank operations in other Rabobank's cooperative structure The local Rabobanks and their members make up the core of the banking business. They are the cooperative's key stakeholders. Being the central (legal) entity, Rabobank Nederland is in the centre of the organisational chart. In the Netherlands, Rabobank Nederland facilitates the local Rabobanks, including the development of new products and marketing support. It performs staff functions for the local Rabobanks and for Rabobank Group as a whole, including Shared Services Facilities, Group ICT and Cooperative Management, Corporate Social Responsibility, Investor Relations, Long Term Funding, Human Resources, Legal and Tax Affairs, Knowledge Economie Research and Communications. Rabobank International, with its global expertise in complex financial products, serves all wholesale clients worldwide and retail clients outside of the Netherlands. ISSUE 20 I HE WORD

Rabobank Bronnenarchief

blad 'RI The Word / The Word' (EN) | 2009 | | pagina 14