Friday 21 February 2020

ING hit by rise in bad debts, says Q4 was ‘challenging’

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Dutch bank ING saw net profits fall 31% in the final three months of 2019 in what chief executive Ralph Hamers described as a ‘challenging’ period.

Over 2019 as a whole, the biggest bank in the Benelux booked net profit of €4.8bn, marginally higher than 2018 when earnings were depressed by a €775m fine for failing to properly implement anti-money laundering practices.

However, the underlying net result showed a drop in profit of 11%.

The cost of improving anti-fraud provisions rose 14% to €303m over the year as whole. Provisions for bad loans rose 77% to €428m.

Nevertheless, 2019 was ‘a year of solid commercial performance despite the challenging rate environment, geopolitical uncertainties and an increasingly complex and demanding regulatory environment,’ Hamers said.

Hamers also said the number of customers who only have contact with the bank via a mobile device had risen from 28% in 2018 to 37% last year.

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