ING is taking all necessary steps to ensure the wellbeing of employees and the continued support of our customers.
The health and safety of our employees has our highest priority. Safeguarding our colleagues and protecting business-critical operations is crucial for the servicing of customers to the level that they are accustomed to. In this regard, we are paying special attention to functions such as Tech Infra, Payments, Financial Markets and Treasury, and to our colleagues working in ING bank branches and other customer access points. Those customer-facing colleagues are the ones who keep ING accessible under difficult conditions, especially when it comes to providing daily banking assistance to customers who are not fully digitally literate yet.
Initial precautionary measures include guidance on hygiene, the provision of hand santisers in our buildings, and additional cleaning of offices. We also deferred all business travel and meetings, unless absolutely critical. We have subsequently taken a number of steps to split operations and ensure the continuity and capacity of our operations and systems. ‘Split operations’ means that a number of people are working from their usual office, others have been moved to dedicated remote locations and a third group is working from home.
ING businesses in Asia went into split operations in late February.
In early March, we split certain operations across different locations, separating around 250 employees in critical functions in Singapore, London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, New York and Manila. Those business-critical functions include Group Treasury, Financial Markets including back offices, Payments and Tech Infra.
In response to the continuing spread of the coronavirus, all other global businesses went into split operations as of mid-March, with the majority of employees working from home (as per government guidelines in many countries).
To enable an increasing number of colleagues to work from home, we have expanded our remote working capabilities and are continuously monitoring usage so as to further expand our capabilities when needed.
We have also reached out to our external suppliers who support us in our critical operations to make sure that they apply similar measures to ensure their own business continuity.
ING’s central crisis management team is constantly monitoring the spread of coronavirus, and also oversees compliance with the measures taken, adapting those measures when necessary in consultation with ING’s senior management. We are updating colleagues daily via our global intranet, as well as through local communications such as email, intranet and printed materials in our offices.
We trust that this information reassures our customers and other stakeholders that ING is doing all it possibly can to ensure business continuity, and to keep on serving customers to the best of our ability.