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Rabobank Australia & New Zealand posts fifth consecutive year of profit growth

Rabobank Australia & New Zealand Group (RANZG) has posted its fifth consecutive year of profit growth, recording a net profit after tax (NPAT) of A$262.5 million for 2014. This was an increase of 3.8 per cent ($9.6 million) on the previous year.

Rabobank Australia & New Zealand Group managing director Thos Gieskes said the solid 2014 results reflected a commendable performance by Rabobank in Australia and New Zealand throughout the year, in an environment of strong competition and increasing regulatory costs.

Mr Gieskes said key financial measures again improved for the Rabobank Australia & New Zealand Group in 2014.

Total income for the year to December 31, 2014 was up on 2013 by 3.9 per cent, with revenue of $725 million.

Total costs for the year increased by 7.8 per cent, mainly due to the implementation of increased local and global regulatory and compliance requirements.

“Good credit quality also saw a lower level of provisions compared to the previous year,” Mr Gieskes said. ”Provision charges fell by a further $8 million compared to the previous year, taking them to the lowest level since the global financial crisis.”

RANZG’s total cost-to-income ratio was 43.5 per cent. While slightly up on last year’s 41.9 per cent cost-to-income ratio, Mr Gieskes said it compared favourably against the Australian banking industry average.

RANZG’s two local banking entities in Australia and New Zealand – Rabobank Australia Limited and Rabobank New Zealand Limited – both maintained a strong capital position.

Total capital ratio – a key measure of solvency – increased to 13.42 per cent for Rabobank Australia Limited at December 31, 2014, while Rabobank New Zealand Limited’s increased to 13.94 per cent, both well above the regulatory capital requirements.

Part of the international Rabobank Group, the world’s leading food and agribusiness banking specialist, Rabobank Australia and New Zealand Group is one of Australasia’s largest rural lenders and a major provider of corporate and business banking services to the region’s food and agribusiness sector.

Mr Gieskes said Rabobank had continued to undertake significant investment in its Australian and New Zealand operations throughout the year.

This had included ongoing development of core technology platforms, streamlining back-end processes, while the bank also invested in expansion and refurbishment within its rural branch network in Australian and New Zealand.

“In addition, Rabobank staged the global F20 summit in Sydney, looking at agriculture and food security issues in the lead-up to last year’s G20 summit, while Australia also played host to the Rabobank Global Farmers Master Class, a gathering of a group of 37 of the world’s leading farmers,” Mr Gieskes said.

“Further development was also undertaken in establishing 17 regionally-based client councils around Australia and New Zealand to provide a sounding board for the bank on our service offerings and to assist us in investing in community initiatives, which are designed to further agriculture and the rural communities in both countries.”

RANZG’s Country (rural) Banking division achieved sound growth in a very competitive market, Mr Gieskes said. The division’s revenue improved by 4.8 per cent on the previous year.

RANZG’s Wholesale Banking division reported a marginal reduction in income compared to 2013.

Mr Gieskes said Wholesale Banking had continued to be impacted by the consolidation and mergers of large food and agri corporates in 2014. “At the same time, wholesale debt markets were still relatively stagnant during the year, while competitors had continued to chase growth through discounting and depressed margins,” he said.

The bank added a total of $0.8 billion in retail deposits in 2014, with a major proportion raised through RaboDirect, Rabobank’s online retail investments and deposits arm.

Mr Gieskes said all profits earned by Rabobank Australia and New Zealand Group were retained and reinvested in the local markets in Australia and New Zealand.

The local Rabobank Australia & New Zealand results follow the recent announcement from global parent, cooperative Rabobank Group, of a net profit of EUR 1.8 billion for 2014. The Group’s Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio and total capital ratio – a key measure of solvency – rose to a strong 13.6 per cent and 21.3 per cent respectively, while the leverage ratio rose to 4.9 per cent. Liquidity position remained strong, with a total liquidity buffer of EUR 80 billion.

Mr Gieskes said the bank maintained a strong, positive outlook for the farm and agribusiness sectors in both Australia and New Zealand in the year ahead.
Rabobank Australia & New Zealand is a part of the international Rabobank Group, the world's leading specialist in food and agribusiness banking. Rabobank has more than 115 years' experience providing customised banking and finance solutions to businesses involved in all aspects of food and agribusiness. Rabobank is structured as a cooperative and operates in 41 countries, servicing the needs of approximately 10 million clients worldwide through a network of more than 1600 offices and branches. Rabobank Australia & New Zealand is one of Australasia's leading rural lenders and a significant provider of business and corporate banking and financial services to the region's food and agribusiness sector. The bank has 94 branches throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Media contacts:
Denise Shaw
Media Relations
Rabobank Australia & New Zealand 
Phone: 02 8115 2744 or 0439 603 525 
Jess Webb
Media Relations
Rabobank Australia & New Zealand 
Phone: 07 3115 1832 or 0418 216 103