The Postbank is to be merged into the ING bank network by 2009, parent company ING Group announced on Wednesday morning. The merger is expected to result in major operational cost savings, but will also see the loss of around 2,500 jobs over the next five years.
With around 7.5 million account holders, the Postbank is one of the largest financial institutions in the Netherlands.
ING said it had opted to focus on the ING brand name because it is already known internationally. The changeover is expected to cost around €890m, largely for advertising campaigns to familiarise customers, and for refitting bank branches with new company logo.
The only part of the existing Postbank livery to survive the shake-up will be the familiar blue lion, although this will become orange.
ING hopes that by 2011 the merger will result in additional annual pre-tax profits of around €440m.
The group also announced profits of almost €1.9bn in the first quarter of 2007. This was more or less in line with market analysts’ expectations. ING also told the stock exchange it intended to spend €5bn on a buy-back of its own shares.
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