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Rabobank New Zealand Banking Group 2022 results

Agribusiness banking specialist Rabobank continued to build its rural lending portfolio in 2022, reporting net lending growth of $1.28 billion for its New Zealand Banking Group.

Rabobank New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Todd Charteris said the bank’s strong portfolio growth during 2022 highlighted the bank’s commitment to New Zealand’s food and agribusiness sector and reflected its growth strategy and ambition within the New Zealand market.

“Rabobank is committed to supporting its clients and we continue to grow our New Zealand business by reinvesting our profits back into the sector,” he said.

“With farmer margins currently squeezed by inflated farm input costs and many farmers still in recovery mode following adverse weather events earlier in the year, the New Zealand agricultural industry is now facing a number of headwinds. However, we are positive about the long-term prospects for the sector and will continue to back our clients and explore new lending opportunities in the year ahead.”

Mr Charteris said the bank’s food and agri lending book grew to $16.07 billion in 2022, up by around nine percent on the prior year.

“Our agricultural lending portfolio (inside the farm gate) grew substantially in 2022 and, combined with strong growth in our corporate post-farm gate portfolio, resulted in net lending growth of $1.28 billion to the New Zealand food & agri sector,” he said.

Mr Charteris said Rabobank New Zealand Group’s 2022 net profit after tax of $193.40 million was back on the $209.08 million recorded in 2021, largely due to differences in impairments from the previous year.

“While impairments in 2022 were negligible at a loss of just $2.2 million, this differed significantly from 2021 when an impairment release of $27 million contributed positively to the net profit,” he said.

Other factors contributing to the NPAT fall from 2021 were higher operating expenses and lower non-interest income.

In addition to strong lending growth, Mr Charteris said the bank’s savings division – Rabobank Online Savings – also recorded good portfolio growth.

“Throughout last year the deposit rates offered by Rabobank Online Savings were consistently at, or near, the top of the market, and our deposit-focused advertising – which highlights that all deposits with Rabobank are used to help fund and support New Zealand agribusiness – resonated strongly with existing and prospective customers,” he said.

“And these factors allowed us to grow our overall deposit portfolio to $5.73 billion.”

Mr Charteris said the bank continued to work closely with its four regionally-based client councils to tackle agricultural industry challenges.

“With support from the Rabo Community Fund, which was set up in late 2021 to support the growth of rural communities, our councils have been able to ramp up their activity and to support more initiatives aligned to their five key themes - long-term industry capacity, environmental sustainability, the rural/urban divide, rural health, and adaptation/disruption,” he said.

“Major client council initiatives supported in 2022 included the Rabobank Financial Skills Workshops – which took place in 27 locations and were attended by close to 500 farmers and growers last year – and the Growing Future Farmers programme which was set up to develop young people for careers on sheep and beef farming operations.

“Our councils also act as a sounding board for the bank, and their input was critical in the submission we made to the government late last year on their proposed framework for pricing agricultural emissions.”

Rabobank New Zealand is a part of the global Rabobank Group, the world’s leading specialist in food and agribusiness banking. Rabobank has more than 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 10 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 offices 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