Rabobank opens virtual bank in New Zealand

Rabobank opens virtual bank in New Zealand

Netherlands-based Rabobank is to open its third international Internet banking operation in New Zealand.

The low-cost RaboPlus operation opens with a small office in Wellington employing just 14 staff. The virtual bank is initially offering online savings accounts with a headline-grabbing interest rate of 7.35%.

In Ireland, Rabobank currently has 9000 customers who bank via RaboDirect.ie with funds on deposit totalling EUR530 million. In Belgium, Rabobank has emerged as the traditional banks' largest online competitor with 47 thousand customers and a total savings balance of EUR1.2 billion.

Rabobank says the key motive for opening the New Zealand operation is to raise the capital to finance its established business in the country. The Dutch bank first set up shop in New Zealand in 1994 and focuses primarily on the agricultural sector.

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