Bryan Inch, the general manager of RaboPlus, the Australian Internet arm of Dutch co-operative Rabobank, has been running an
executive blog for over a year.
In September, he announced through the blog that he would be moving back to New Zealand and leaving the bank. He also introduced his successor, Greg McAweeny, who successfully launched RaboDirect.ie in Ireland.
Greg settled into his new job on 1 October and by 10 October had posted his first entry. The topic:
Answers to your questions - How safe is RaboPlus?
The post was in response to questions from customers concerned about the safety of deposits held with RaboPlus, and touched on the importance of the parent bank's AAA credit rating and its exposure to derivatives.
This generated a fair few comments and further queries - for example in relation to the deposit ceiling and jurisdiction issues under various government guarantee schemes - and Greg has been responding to posters individually through the comment trail.
Given that most banks have been studiously avoiding any reference to the global financial meltdown on their public Internet sites, the personal approach of RaboPlus in this instance is both refreshing and reassuring.
It also demonstrates the potential for social media to smooth customer relationships, to broker trust and to open new channels for customer engagement.
Other banks, NAB this means you, should take note.