Dutch banking group ING on Thursday announced plans to close offices in South America and Asia, and downsize integration operations in several EU countries, shedding some 1,000 jobs in total.
The closures were announced during the presentation of ING’s third-quarter earnings figures. The bank posted net profit of €788m in the third quarter, almost half the €1.4bn reported in 2019 Q3.
The ‘challenging external environment’ has led the bank to refocus some of its activities, chief executive Steven van Rijswijk said in a statement.
In the wholesale banking arm, this means concentrating on core clients and closing offices, he said. On the retail banking side, efforts to standardise digital banking will also be reduced, impacting countries such as France, Spain and the Czech Republic.
‘The decision has been taken in light of the current economic headwinds and our learning from the complexities and costs of cross-border system and product integration,’ Van Rijswijk said.
According to the Financieele Dagblad, Van Rijswijk’s decision to stop the integration process is a clear departure from the One Bank strategy implemented by his predecessor Ralph Hamers.
The job losses will have all been realised by the end of next year.
In July, ING said it would close 170 branches in the Netherlands and last year ING closed 40% of service points within shops such as Bruna and Primera.
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