Insurer Nationale-Nederlanden to launch a digital bank next year

Photo: Jens Buurgaard Nielsen via Wikimedia Commons

Insurance giant Nationale-Nederlanden is planning to introduce its own current accounts and payment cards, in direct competition to the established Dutch banking sector.

The new bank, under the name Nationale-Nederlanden, will launch next year and will be fully digital, the company said on Thursday.

“We are doing this because there is room in the market,” a spokesman told broadcaster NOS. “It’s an alternative to the big banks, and there is a need for it.”

The Dutch banking market is currently dominated by Rabobank, ING and ABN Amro although fully digital banks such as Bunq and specialised banks like Knab and Triodos, have a foothold. According to the Financieele Dagblad, NN wants to win “serious market share” but declined to give a target.

NN has some 1.25 million clients, offering insurance, pensions and investment products. “A current account is a logical addition to our services,” chief executive Marcel Zuidam told the FD. “It is a way of strengthening and deepening our relationship with the customer.”

Dutch consumer authority ACM told the paper that NN Bank’s entry into the payment market is a “positive development” which will lead to more competition. The ACM recently criticised the lack of competition on the Dutch savings market.

Nationale Nederlanden is the former insurance arm of financial services group ING and was launched on the Amsterdam stock exchange in 2014. ING was ordered to sell off its insurance activities by the European Commission because it received Dutch government support during the credit crisis.

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