ING ponders sale of UK and Canadian online banks

ING ponders sale of UK and Canadian online banks

ING is weighing up the sale of its online banks in the UK and Canada as it looks to raise cash to pay back money lent by the Dutch government at the height of the financial crisis.

The bank has not provided details on potential bidders, saying only that it is "reviewing strategic options" for the two units and this may or may not lead to sales.

The Canadian business employees over 1100 people serving 1.8 million customers, while the UK unit has 750 staff and 1.5 million users.

Rabobank International analyst Cor Kluis says that the pair could fetch up to EUR2.1 billion, helping ING pay off the some of the EUR10 billion borrowed from the government in 2008.

The bank has already been forced to sell off its US Internet operations as an EC condition of the bailout and is in talks to offload its Asian life-insurance business.

Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 06 August, 2012, 07:16Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Is the European government  banking bailout and new capital adequacy rules leading to a national banking focus? The single market for banking services within the European Union seems to move further away into the future as major banks focus on their home markets and sell off x-border operations in order to pay back any sponsored loans from government but also due to coming more stern demands on equity in banks? It has been suggested that if a bank has business x-border, it needs even more equity than if it has its business only in its home country. If this is true, Europe will see a reduction of competition in banking and also the idea of the single European payments area will in practice be out of scope. Quite contrary to what the European Central Bank and the European Commission are voicing.