Dutch bank ING is to cut 450 jobs at its operations & IT division in Belgium and the Netherlands, and explore the possibilties for outsourcing other functions.
ING says the job cuts will result in an annual saving of EUR39 million and help the bank compete in the mature Benelux market.
The cuts involve employees who work in IT Infrastructure for both ING's banking and insurance activities. In the Netherlands 400 positions will become redundant before the end of 2005. In Belgium 50 redundancies will be realised, mostly through natural wastage.
The expected one-off severance and run-off costs amount to EUR57 million, for which a provision will be taken in the third quarter of 2005. The bank's operations & IT division employs approximately 18,000 staff.
ING has also confirmed plans to examine the possibilities of outsourcing activities to a third party.
In a statement, ING says the investigation "will determine whether other companies can perform certain activities at the same standard of quality, with more flexibility and at lower costs than ING itself".