RaboPlus Innovation Proves A Winner Despite Economic Downturn

Wellington, New Zealand (PressExposure) December 17, 2008 -- RaboPlus has successfully trialled what is believed to be a New Zealand first - http://www.BankaRate.co.nz. BankaRate offers a limited number of exclusive term deposit rates that are typically higher than comparable offerings from the major banks, on a "first in, first served" basis.

"It's the Term Deposit equivalent of Air New Zealand's very successful initiative GrabaSeat. Customers go online to choose the term deposit that suits them, and then follow some simple steps to purchase that rate. There are a finite number of these special rates on offer, and you can see how many are left in real time on RaboPlus's BankaRate website," says General Manager of RaboPlus, Mike Heath.

"In a tough economic climate New Zealanders are looking for security and a good return on investment - RaboPlus is leading the way on both. "

Rabobank, the parent company of RaboPlus, is the only AAA rated bank in New Zealand; a rating that was reaffirmed by Moody's in November and Standard and Poor's in October.

"And investors have additional peace of mind, as RaboPlus has a guarantee under the New Zealand deposit guarantee scheme."

Mike Heath says BankaRate's special offers are already in hot demand.

"The first set of rates offered under the BankaRate.co.nz promotion was snapped up within 36 hours. A new set of rates will be launched this week.

"The response confirms our position that if you offer innovative products and good returns, you will attract savvy investors, despite the economic downturn," Mr Heath says.

RaboPlus's BankaRate term deposits will be offered on a regular basis.

And in another innovative 'first'; RaboPlus was the first banking service to bring a Cash PIE (Portfolio Investment Entity) to market in December last year. This offering continues to attract new customers, and investment in RaboPlus's PIE product, the Cash Advantage Fund (CAF), has exceeded the $500 million milestone - making it the seventh largest single fund in New Zealand.

The CAF was set up jointly by RaboPlus and AMP Capital Investors in response to the tax benefits resulting from the Portfolio Investment Entities (PIE) regime, introduced on October 1 2007.

"To break through the $500 million mark within a year is great news. Now more than ever investors are looking for competitive returns, so the CAF with its additional tax benefits is particularly attractive to investors at the moment," says Mike Heath.

The Cash Advantage Fund has tax capped at 30% and, Mr Heath says, it has been designed to provide investors with an investment similar to an on-call bank deposit.

"The funds are placed on-call with our parent company, Rabobank. Rabobank's track record and traditionally conservative approach is very appealing in the current economic climate."

AMP Capital Investors' Head of Sales and Marketing Anthony Edmonds says the Cash Advantage Fund is proving extremely popular with investment advisers throughout the country.

"The fund provides a solution that appeals to the clients of investment advisers on a number of levels. Online cash deposits with banks are a popular investment with Kiwis. And the CAF is further enhanced by the tax benefits of PIE, backed by the strength of Rabobank's AAA rating," says Mr Edmonds.

Note to editors: Further information on BankaRate can be found at http://www.bankarate.co.nz. The RaboPlus Term Deposit Investment Statement is available at http://www.RaboPlus.co.nz. The Moody's and Standard and Poor's reports reaffirming Rabobank's AAA credit rating are available at http://www.RaboPlus.co.nz. Further information about the deposit guarantee scheme is available, free of charge and at all reasonable times, on the Internet site maintained by, or on behalf of, the Treasury http://www.treasury.govt.nz. The Cash Advantage Fund Investment Statement is available at http://www.RaboPlus.co.nz or by calling 0800 22 44 33. The Cash Advantage Fund is a Portfolio Investment Entity (PIE). In a PIE, income is no longer taxed at the fund level, but allocated to investors and taxed at the investor's Prescribed Investor Rate (PIR - the personal tax rate that is levied for managed funds). This is of benefit to those investors on a marginal tax rate of 39 per cent. A PIR is similar to an individual's marginal tax rate with one difference - the top rate for PIR under the PIE regime is 30 per cent.

About RaboPlus

RaboPlus is an online banking service designed to complement customers' existing banking arrangements. The website http://www.raboplus.co.nz offers New Zealanders a high interest, no fees, on-call savings account as well as term deposits and access to managed funds.

RaboPlus is a division of Rabobank New Zealand Limited, part of the international Rabobank Group, the world's leading specialist in food and agribusiness banking. Rabobank has more than 110 years' experience providing customised banking and finance solutions to businesses involved in all aspects of food and agribusiness. Rabobank has the highest possible credit ratings from both Standard and Poor's (AAA) and Moody's Investor Service (Aaa), and has held these triple A ratings for more than 25 years. Rabobank operates in 43 countries, servicing the needs of more than nine million clients worldwide through a network of more than 1600 offices and branches. Rabobank is among the 20 largest banks in the world based on tier one capital. In New Zealand Rabobank employs approximately 211 staff across 29 branches to service its clients. Thirteen staff, including a Wellington based call centre, support RaboPlus customers.

RaboPlus is the winner of Best Online Savings Account, Best 90 Day Term Deposit and Best New Product (Cash Advantage Fund) at the 2008 Sunday Star Times, Cannex Banking Awards. RaboPlus also won the Emerging Business Award at the 2007 NZ Marketing Magazine Marketing Awards, and won the Gold in New Product or Service Introduction and the Best in Show award at the 2007 Effies (Advertising Effectiveness Awards).
For further information please visit http://www.RaboPlus.co.nz or contact:

Mike Heath
General Manager
Ph: +64 4 819 2812
Mob: + 64 27 285 9178

Press Release Source: http://PressExposure.com/PR/RaboPlus.html

Press Release Submitted On: December 15, 2008 at 5:23 pm
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