“Certainly, it is a pity that Fitch has lowered our rating, but we remain, by far, the most solid non-government related bank," said Rik van Slingelandt, acting chairman of the executive board of Rabobank Nederland.
Fitch said the rating action reflects its concern over the bank’s strategic direction. “While the bank’s co-operative structure brings considerable strength, it remains a constraining factor in terms of executing a viable international mergers and acquisitions policy,” said Fitch in a statement. “In the absence of a value-adding cross-border merger or acquisition, Rabobank’s future revenue growth is constrained by a saturated and increasingly competitive domestic market.”
Rabobank currently retains the highest rating of AAA by Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s.