Dutch bank ING booked net profit of almost €7.3 billion last year, double last year’s total, as rising interest rates allowed it to earn more from savings and to borrow more cheaply.
The European central bank raised its most important interest rate several times last year, and it now stands at 4%, its highest level ever.
Despite the increase in profit, ING said 2023 had been a “challenging” year, because of both geopolitical and economic developments. “At the same time, most economies proved resilient with low unemployment, inflation coming down, and rates turning positive at an unprecedented pace,” chief executive Steven van Rijswijk said in a statement.
In particular, the bank said it added 750,000 primary customers to reach a total of 15.3 million, mainly in Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.
Last year ING and other Dutch banks came under fire for failing to pass on higher interest rates to savers and the central bank warned people would take their money abroad without improvement.
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