The winner: ANZ
CANSTAR congratulates ANZ on winning the 2016 Award for Bank of the Year – Agribusiness.
ANZ has a long history, founded in 1835 in Sydney as the Bank of Australasia. Nearly 1 in 2 Kiwis have a banking relationship with one of the ANZ brands. They are New Zealand’s largest rural banker, serving 39% of rural Kiwis.
In terms of agribusiness offerings, ANZ has a compelling product offering through a range of deposit and lending products which assist with the day to day operation and funding of an agribusiness. It also provides a number of structured packages for NZ farmers, including a farm start-up package as well as pasture and performance loans, seasonal finance and an environmental loan.
ANZ has also invested heavily in having a wide network of relationship managers to assist with their customers’ needs and in terms of education ANZ holds “Business of Farming” workshops each year to look at business management practices and challenges in the industry.
More broadly, ANZ assists in the development and knowledge of their customers. They publish a bi-monthly report called Agrifocus that provides a summary of recent events and also topical issues. They also invest in various industry initiatives and awards.
159 years old, ASB – then known as the Auckland Savings Bank – opened its doors in 1847 with the pledge to ‘serve the community; to grow; and to help kiwis grow.’ It was a digital pioneer, being the first New Zealand bank to operate an online real-time computer system linking all branches to one central computer. In 1997 it also introduced New Zealand’s first internet banking site, FastNet Classic, as well as, in 2010, launching a virtual branch on Facebook.
Given the remoteness of some agribusinesses, online functionality is a boon.
ASB also offer face to face service, with Rural Managers, most of whom are from rural communities themselves.
In terms of agribusiness products, ASB offer a range of deposit and lending products, including a Rural Environmental Compliance Loan.
ASB publish a monthly “Farmshed Economics” report, a weekly commodities report and an ongoing blog. ASB partners with the Diary Women’s Network as well as numerous local rural events.
BNZ – Bank of New Zealand – opened its doors in 1861 and enjoyed rapid expansion. It has the distinction of having established New Zealand’s first long-term mortgage department. Interest is charged at 6% and repayment terms are up to 36 years!
For agribusiness, BNZ offer a suite of products across transaction and savings account as well as loans and asset finance, and insurance.
BNZ offers the use of 33 partners Centres across the country, which boast boardrooms, smaller meeting rooms, interactive presentation equipment, complimentary wi-fi, phone and video conferencing facilities. BNZ has also partnered with The Icehouse, which provides topic specific workshops, group programmes and customised business coaching for businesses.
BNZ customers receive discounts for workshops.
For agribusinesses with an international focus, BNZ’s Treasury Solutions team provide specialist assistance and risk management products and services with regards to interest rates, exchange rates and commodity prices.
Rabobank is arguably New Zealand’s original agribusiness bank, founded in 1898 as a co-operative by farmers looking to mutually support each other and to provide better access to finance for rural communities. It has grown into one of the world’s largest rural lenders and still retains its co-operative status, while branching out into many other financial product areas.
Rabobank’s goal is to enable individuals and businesses to participate fully and independently in the economic activity of their local communities. Currently, Rabobank has 33 branches throughout New Zealand.
Two of Rabobank’s core businesses include:
Rural Financial Services – which provides a range of customised financial products and services to farmers. These include flexible long-term loans, equipment finance, farm ownership options, retail deposits and succession planning services.
Major Agribusiness Clients Group Services – providing customised services and financial products for middle-market agribusiness enterprises. The service includes specialised relationship managers.
In terms of education, Rabobank offers terrific insights via its Agribusiness blog and its Agribusiness Monthly publication.
Westpac was established in 1817 as the Bank of New South Wales and they established Westpac New Zealand in 1861 when they bought the New Zealand branch of the Oriental Bank. Beginning on the gold fields of Otago, they now serve over 1.3 million customers across the country.
The predecessor of Westpac NZ, CBA New Zealand, was the first bank to lend money to women, with their “Yes, we do lend money to women” campaign in 1974.
Westpac offer a wide range of agribusiness deposit and lending products and agri-specific insurances. Farmers can also access specialist Agribusiness Managers and specialist international business services.
In terms of education Westpac produce a quarterly Agribusiness newsletter as well as fortnightly agri-updates available online. For those that prefer watching to reading, Westpac also produce regular short video updates on the New Zealand economy and markets.
In terms of community support, Westpac are involved with the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards (NZDIAs), the Westpac business Excellence Awards , the Franchise Awards and numerous local events.
Each year CANSTAR researches the agribusiness offerings available from New Zealand financial institutions. This consists of a review of the finance and deposit products that are available, as well as assessment of those institutional factors that can drive success, including the availability of relationship managers, the range of more specialised products and services, online banking functionality and information and education services offered to customers. The 2016 Agribusiness Award report can be viewed here.