Supported by SAM, the cliënt should begin tofeel reassured that we are looking for solutions together SECTOR SPECIAL GSAM The process 18 ISSUE 21 r,f.':r 20i THE WORD that off. Rather, we will look at the company's risk profile and, if feasible, we might doublé the credit from EUR 100 million to EUR 200 million and be rewarded with a company that survives and has a solid credit rating." For other players within the banking sector, where liquidity is scarce or long-term relationships are less of a priority, this approach is a rarity. However, as Weenig explains, Rabobank's philosophy differs slightly from the norm. "In addition to having better access to liquidity than most ofourpeers, we also believe the best approach is to try to save the company. We're aware that many banks have short-term goals, which boil down to saving liquidity for the bank, but since we're a relationship bank, we believe passionately in the medium- to long-term focus, which means you need to place the cliënt in the right context, and understand the position they find themselves in and empathise with them." During day-to-day business, a Relationship Manager (RM) within Rabobank deals with a client's needs and reviews the state of their financïal health on a regular basis. Part of the review process is an assessment of the Loan Quality Classification. Once the Loan Quality Classification has been rated as 'substandard' or worse, management is transferred to SAM or GSAM. Of course, says Weenig, there are emergencies, in which case the RM brings SAM in contact with the cliënt directly. If the client's business is in danger of imminent collapse, then normal channels are bypassed and the emphasis is on acting first and doing the paperwork later. 'Take the example," says Weenig, "of a company that will go bankrupt if it doesn't pay its creditors by tomorrow night. In such a case, it's a judgment call based on whether or not the money we put in will ever be returned. And this is based on the best information available. When we have to act quickly, the major objective is not to save the shareholder - it's to save the position of the bank." As Staal explains, when a cliënt is transferred to SAM, a meeting is organised with the RM and the cliënt. The meeting can take place any time from the following day to six weeks hence, depending upon the urgency of the case. "The RM knows the cliënt, they know the file, they have the history and they know how to deal with the cliënt," he says. "The cliënt is then informed that we will have the meeting and we take it from there. That's how we organise it internally. From the client's perspective, they are dealing with Rabobank, so who they're actually speaking with is not so important. "We then explain to the cliënt that we are facing a special type of situation. We explain that we are familiar with this type of situation, and that there are advantages for them - we have more time to spend on the relationship, for instance, and that we have a short line of command and decision making to the executive board, if required. So it's not as though the butchers are coming in - no, it's a very special situation and, therefore, a special relationship. This is a time when the cliënt should begin to feel reassured that we are looking for solutions together." A client's first reaction is often positive, says Weenig, because they realise that their problems will be considered from a fresh perspective. "At the end of the day, it's in the best interests of everyone that we do a good and thorough job, with everyone coming out operating at full strength," he says.

Rabobank Bronnenarchief

blad 'RI The Word / The Word' (EN) | 2009 | | pagina 18