Under the name RaboPlus, Rabobank opened an internet bank in Wellington, New Zealand's capital city. Customers in New Zealand can open a savings account and apply for other financial products. RaboPlus is Rabobank's third Internet bank, following launches in Belgium (2002) and Ireland (2005). The rationele for opening the online bank was to attract capital in order to finance Rabobank's activities in New Zealand . Rabobank has been active in New Zealand since 1994, mainly in the agricultural sector.
Michel Hofman, Head of Shared Services International Direct Banking (IDB), is responsible for the central organization as well as the daily IT and back-office operations of overseas internet banks, allowing local management to focus on customer service and marketing for local end customers.
The shared service concept was chosen deliberately to install a strong application infrastructure with integrated risk management processes in close co-operation with several external partners. Says Hofman: "The art is to create a balance between operational continuity and the flexibility to make adjustments in a controlled but effective manner if necessary, while maintaining a very keen sense of costs. By making use of a specialized shared services centre, a high measure of efficiency, rapidity and quality can be achieved, so that we permanently meet the high banking and business requirements."
This service model has proved itself in practice. Within a little more than a year, two new online banks have been installed successfully in Ireland and New Zealand, and the existing Belgian online bank has moved to the shared services centre in the Netherlands. More banks will be added over the next few years.
Rabobank selected Schuberg Philis at the end of 2004 and renewed the contract on 1st January 2008. Schuberg Philis was chosen because it focuses solely on total control of mission critical applications and infrastructures for companies that require a high measure of availability and professional risk management, next to their ability to respond quickly and in a flexibly manner to changing business environments. For more information about Rabobank IDB: http://www.rabobank.com/content/private_clients/direct_banking/.