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Rabobank New Zealand Group 2019 results

Agribusiness banking specialist Rabobank continued to build its rural lending portfolio in 2019, reporting net lending growth of $1.1 billion for its New Zealand Banking Group.

Rabobank New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Todd Charteris said the bank’s strong portfolio growth during 2019 highlighted the bank’s commitment to New Zealand’s food and agribusiness sector and reflected its strategy and ambition within the New Zealand market.

“As New Zealand’s only specialist food and agri bank, Rabobank takes a long-term view of supporting its clients and we continue to grow our New Zealand business by reinvesting our profits back into the sector,” Mr Charteris said.

“The New Zealand agricultural industry currently faces a number of challenges – not least the negative impacts of the on-going coronavirus outbreak – however, we are positive about the prospects for the sector and will continue to support our clients and explore new lending opportunities in the year ahead.”

Mr Charteris said the bank’s food and agri lending book grew to NZ$13.8 billion in 2019, up by around eight percent on the prior year.

Rabobank New Zealand CEO Todd Charteris

Rabobank New Zealand CEO Todd Charteris

“Our agricultural lending portfolio (inside the farm gate) grew substantially last year, and combined with strong growth in our corporate post-farm gate portfolio, resulted in net lending growth of $1.1 billion to the New Zealand food & agri sector,” he said.

“Importantly, all of this growth was achieved within our existing overall risk appetite, recognising that we have a responsibility to both our clients and prospective clients to be a responsible lender.”

Mr Charteris said Rabobank made significant investment in its agribusiness banking team during 2019 to support its expanding food and agri portfolio.

“We significantly increased the head count in our frontline agribusiness team during 2019 to manage our growing portfolio and to set us up for further business expansion,” he said.

“As an outcome of the RBNZ review of bank conduct and culture which concluded in late 2018, we also increased staff numbers in our compliance and regulatory teams last year with many of these new staff involved in the delivery of projects focused on ensuring good outcomes for our rural banking and online saving customers.”

Mr Charteris said Rabobank New Zealand Group’s 2019 NPAT of $129.7 million was back on the $144.2 million recorded in 2018, with the increased staff costs a key factor in this drop.

“Tighter net interest margins and increased impairments also played a role in this fall,” he said.

Mr Charteris said another key milestone for the bank in 2019 was the launch of a new television advertising campaign highlighting how online deposits with Rabobank New Zealand Limited (RNZL) are exclusively used to fund New Zealand’s food andagricultural producers.

He also said the strong capital position of the global Rabobank Group and its locally incorporated registered bank RNZL meant the bank was well placed to meet proposed new capital requirements finalised by the Reserve Bank last year.

“RNZL’s capital ratio currently sits at 13.14 per cent and we are well placed to transition to the new requirements within the extended timeframe specified by the Reserve Bank.”

Mr Charteris said the bank continued to work closely with its five regionally-based client councils to tackle agricultural industry challenges, while it was also increasingly contributing to public discussion on key agricultural issues.

“In conjunction with our Client Councils, we rolled out a number of rural community initiatives across the country in 2019 linked to our five Client Council themes - agricultural education, sustainability, farming reputation, disruption and rural health.

“We also made a concerted effort to ramp up our contribution to public discussion and thought leadership on issues that matter to our clients and the wider sector. In addition to the reports and analysis from our RaboResearch team, the bank made submissions to government on the zero-carbon bill, the farm debt mediation bill and the proposed freshwater reforms with each of these providing practical feedback from our clients and employees.


Rabobank New Zealand is a part of the global Rabobank Group, the world’s leading specialist in food and agribusiness banking. Rabobank has nearly 120 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 40 countries, servicing the needs of about 8.6 million clients worldwide through a network of close to 1000 offices and branches. Rabobank New Zealand is one of the country's leading agricultural lenders and a significant provider of business and corporate banking and financial services to the New Zealand food and agribusiness sector. The bank has 32 branches throughout New Zealand.


Media contacts:

David Johnston
Marketing & Media Relations Manager
Rabobank New Zealand
Phone: 04 819 2711 or 027 477 8153

Denise Shaw
Head of Media Relations 
Rabobank Australia & New Zealand 
Phone: +612 8115 2744 or +61 2 439 603 525