ING Direct, the international Internet and phone banking operation of the Dutch bank ING, reported a first half pre-tax profit of EUR31 million against a loss of EUR72 million in the first six months of 2002.
With funds entrusted growing by EUR24.0 billion (43.5 per cent) in the first six months of 2003 to a total of EUR79.2 billion, ING says the direct banking operation continues to exceed expectations.
The bank says that its newly-opened UK outpost has made an impressive start, pulling in 139,000 customers and EUR3.8 billion in deposits by the end of July - more than any other ING Direct business unit at the same stage.
At the end of June 2003, ING Direct had 6.6 million clients. This figure excludes nearly one million new clients acquired as a result of the take over of German bank Entrium last month.