The basis for our opinion
We conducted our audit in accordance with Dutch law, including the Dutch Standards on Auditing.
We have further described our responsibilities under those standards in the section
'Our responsibilities for the audit of the financial statements' of our report.
We believe that the audit evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for
We are independent of Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A. in accordance with the European Regulation on
specific requirements regarding statutory audit of public interest entities, the 'Wet toezicht
accountantsorganisaties' (Wta, Audit firms supervision act), the 'Verordening inzake de
onafhankelijkheid van accountants bij assuranceopdrachten' (ViO - Code of Ethics for Professional
Accountants, a regulation with respect to independence) and other relevant independence
requirements in the Netherlands. Furthermore, we have complied with the 'Verordening gedrags- en
beroepsregels accountants' (VGBA - Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants, a regulation with
respect to rules of professional conduct).
Our audit approach
Overview and context of the 2018 audit
Rabobank is an international financial services provider operating on the basis of cooperative
principles. Rabobank operates globally in 38 countries with focus on banking in the Netherlands and
food and agricultural financing in the Netherlands and abroad. Its operations include domestic retail
banking, wholesale banking, international rural and retail banking, leasing and real estate. As the
group comprises of multiple components, we considered our group audit scope and approach as set
out in the section 'The scope of our group audit'.
Rabobank is in the midst of a transformation. During 2018 Rabobank continued executing the
'Strategic Framework 2016-2020'. The strategic objectives that impact the financial statements
directly are focussed on balance sheet flexibility and reduction and further improving financial
performance. As the ongoing transformation may affect systems, processes and controls, the risk of
material misstatement increases within areas affected by this transformation. We therefore
particularly focussed on those areas where the financial statements could be materially impacted.
Next to our focus on IT due to the transformation process, the reliability and continuity of information
processing is significant to the Bank's operational, regulatory and financial reporting processes and we
identified this as a key audit matter. In the section 'Key audit matters' of this report we described
where this was applicable during our audit.
As part of designing our audit, we determined materiality and assessed the risks of material
misstatement in the financial statements. In particular we considered where the Managing Board
made important judgements, for example, in respect of significant accounting estimates that involved
making assumptions and considering future events that are inherently uncertain. In paragraph
"Judgements and estimates" in note 2.1 to the financial statements, the Bank describes the areas of
judgement in applying accounting policies and the key sources of estimation uncertainty. Given the
significant estimation uncertainty in combination with the magnitude in the impairment allowances
on loans and advances to customers, valuation of financial instruments at fair value and provisioning
for litigation, regulatory and client care exposures, we considered these to be key audit matters as set
out in the key audit matter section of this report.
Coöperatieve Rabobank UA. - EH44X5NCPJUJ-1288894667-935
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