Saturday 28 November 2020

Rabobank to close branches to ‘meet challenges ahead’

Rabobank is a high street staple. Photo: Rabobank

Rabobank is planning to reorganise its local branch network, the Financieele Dagblad said on Thursday, quoting confidential company documents.

Low interest rates, changing client behavior and the coronavirus pandemic are forcing the bank to take action, the paper said.

By closing more local offices and further centralising management, the bank aims to shore up profits and get a better grip on the current risks, the FD said, adding that bank management consider the changes crucial to meet the challenges ahead

The documents indicate that Rabobank is to reduce the number of regional head offices from 89 to 71 and cut the number of local branches to 100 to 150. The bank had a network of 355 bank outlets before the pandemic took hold.

Rabobank is not the first of the Dutch banks to take action to cut costs following shifts in banking patterns.

Last week ING announced plans to close offices in South America and Asia, and downsize integration operations in several EU countries, shedding some 1,000 jobs in total.

The ‘challenging external environment’ has led the bank to refocus some of its activities, chief executive Steven van Rijswijk said in a statement at the time.

In July, ING said it would close 170 branches in the Netherlands and last year ING closed 40% of service points within shops such as Bruna and Primera.

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