ING axes more than 2,000 jobs and splits banking and insurance businesses

8 November 2012

ING has confirmed that it will cut more than 2,300 jobs globally over a two-year period as it separates its banking and insurance operations.

The large Dutch financial services group says that a total of 1,350 jobs from 12,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions will be lost at its European insurance operations, and a further 1,000 will go from commercial banking out of 10,500 worldwide.

In all, the job cuts amount to a 2.5% reduction in the workforce at ING, which had a total of 94,000 employees at the end of June this year. The losses follow an announcement last year by ING that it would cut 2,700 jobs, or 10% of staff, at its Dutch retail banking operations in response to deteriorating markets.

The group agreed to dismantle its bancassurer model as a condition of the state bailout it received in 2008 after the banking crisis. It is also divesting insurance and investment management operations and other assets through disposals or stock market listings, using the proceeds to repay the aid and shore up its capital. The restructuring would "increase the agility" of ING in an uncertain environment, said chief executive, Jan Hommen.

He added that the bank, which has already sold a stake in US bank holding company Capital One, will complete the disposal of overseas operations, selling its ING Direct operations in the UK and Canada, to focus on its home market, he said. ING expects to achieve annual savings of €260m from 2015 onwards in the banking business and a further €200m by the end of 2014 in insurance.

The UK operation has been purchased by Barclays, subject to regulatory approval.

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