About this Report Chairman's Foreword Corporate Management Report Appendices Governance Consolidated Financial Company Financial Statements Statements The final impact of Basel IV could be mitigated through: Changes in product and portfolio composition and, for example, a reduction of committed credit lines and undrawn headroom in credit lines; Distribution of assets; Data improvements such as data mapping, improved revenue information storage, collateral information and external ratings, and/or Repricing the longer term assets. The Basel Committee's latest proposals must still be reviewed and approved by the EU and then be enacted into Dutch law and regulations. In the coming period we will continue to maintain an active dialogue with regulators on several topics of uncertainty relating to the Basel framework. Realization of Cost/Income Target in 2020 Will Be Unlikely Realizing our Rabobank's targets for performance improvement will enable future growth. We have already taken several steps to enhance our effectiveness and efficiency, contributing to an ROIC' of 7.4% (2017: 6.9%) in 2018. Our cost/income ratio, including regulatory levies, improved by 5.4% point to 65.9% in 2018 (2017: 71.3%). Several exceptional items affected our cost/ income ratio. In calculating the underlying cost/income ratio, adjustments were made for these items. On December 31, 2018, the underlying cost/income ratio, including regulatory levies, improved to 63.9% (2017: 65.3%). Transforming Rabobank's operations continued in 2018. The implementation of our ongoing performance improvement program "Performance Now!" will help us achieve our targets. This program consolidates all initiatives that contribute to performance improvement. Its focus is broader than achieving greater efficiency and effectiveness: it also ensures that our bank is ready for the future. The next step in this transition is to ready the launch of a new omni-channel client service model in our local Rabobanks in the Netherlands in 2019. Our restructuring efforts have brought total staffing levels down by 1,868 FTEs, reducing them to 41,861 FTEs, which also had a downward effect on our staff costs. The FTE reduction was the consequence of lowering staffing levels at Domestic Retail Banking (by 1,523 FTEs) and Real Estate (by 522 FTEs as a result of the sale of BPD Marignan), and expanding the employee base at both WRR (by 361 FTEs through temporary hires for several projects) and Leasing (by 308 FTEs) Improvement of our cost/income ratios will remain a priority for the coming years, but it will be very challenging to realize the targeted improvements to a level of 53%-54% by 2020 given the continuing low interest rate environment and the acceleration of investments in digitalization and our (data) infrastructure. Nonetheless, we are still committed to bringing our cost/income ratio down to 53%-54% in the medium term. We expect that we need a few more years to see it through, also depending on the evolution of the interest environment over the next couple of years. In the meantime, we will continue to further rationalize our business. Dilemma: Investing in Digitalization and Innovation The implementation of new rules and regulations like PSD2, Basel IV, IFRS9 and privacy regulations (GDPR) present a dilemma. Adopting the new standards is costly and time consuming. The same goes for our transition becoming an even more client-oriented, innovative and digital organization. At the same time, we have set ourselves targets to lower our cost base. We have taken a well-informed decision to continue to invest in initiatives, that we deem necessary to making Rabobankfuture proof, even if these investments prevent the realization of our targeted cost/ income ratio by 2020. Balance Sheet Optimization Continued in 2018 In response to the implementation of several regulations, such as Basel IVand MREL requirements, Rabobankdecided late in 2015 to further optimize its balance sheet structure. This entails prioritizing core business like selling assets and portfolio selection. Asa result, our total outstanding wholesale funding has decreased by EUR 50.0 billion since year-end 2015, In 2018 our total outstanding wholesale funding decreased by EUR 7.2 billion to EUR 153.2 billion, excluding the TLTRO take-up, which remained stable at EUR 5.0 billion. In August 2018 the bank completed the inaugural issue of non-preferred senior bonds, which was well received by investors. Over the coming years, Rabobank will continue to issue non-preferred senior and covered bonds in order to further diversify and optimize our funding composition. The current level of wholesale funding is satisfactory. Our total liabilities decreased to EUR 548 (2017: EUR 563) billion, which can be attributed to decreases in financial liabilities and debt securities in issue. Our total assets decreased to EUR 590 1 The ROIC is calculated by dividing the net profit realized after non-controlling interests by the core capital (actual tier 1 capital plus the goodwill in the balance sheet at the end of the reporting period) minus deductions for non-controlling interests in Rabobank's equity. Annual Report 2018 - Management Report 49

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Annual Reports Rabobank | 2018 | | pagina 51