ING continues pace of commercial growth, attracting more customers and increasing core lending
ING 1Q18 underlying pre-tax result of €1,686 million, up 2.1% year-on-year
"We delivered solid profitability in the first quarter, at the same time providing a differentiating experience for customers and innovating to stay relevant for them in the future," said Ralph Hamers, CEO of ING Group. "We attracted new customers and deepened the relationship with existing ones. Overall customer numbers were up more than 400,000 during the quarter to 37.8 million. Primary relationships grew by 170,000 to 11.2 million, boosted by inflows in our Challengers & Growth Markets, particularly in Australia. We are on track to achieve our goal of 14 million primary relationships by 2020."
"We rolled out new products and services in the first quarter to create an easier experience and empower customers in new ways. These included ING Global Index Portfolios, developed jointly in the Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg, with each unit contributing vital parts to the whole. This low-cost and easy-to-use investment product expands our offering in those markets and provides customers with an alternative to savings accounts."
"We took an important step to become the preferred platform for business customers by acquiring a 75 percent stake in Payvision, an innovative service that connects merchants and payments providers by facilitating more than 80 payment methods in 150 currencies. This technological leap will strengthen and expand ING's digital payments business, especially in e-commerce."
"And we achieved a milestone in the first quarter when our Yolt open-banking platform in the UK passed the 250,000 user mark. Yolt empowers by giving people better insights into their finances with the help of tools to manage their money across financial institutions. Yolt taps into the disruption ushered in by the European PSD2 open payments directive with a multi-bank value proposition that we at ING feel will be a key element of the go-to banking platforms of the future."
"We've set ambitious targets for responsible finance. We focus on financing companies and sectors whose activities counter global warming and have a positive social impact, as well as working together with environmental, social and governance (ESG) industry leaders. This includes helping others to secure sustainable finance, which we also did in the first quarter when we acted as Sustainability Coordinator for the revolving credit facility for global agri-business Olam International Ltd, Asia's first sustainability-linked club loan deal. We also made good progress in 1Q18 building a reputation for placing green bonds; during the quarter ING led eight green bond issues for clients."
"Overall, our commercial momentum remained strong. We recorded €12.3 billion of core lending growth in the quarter. Risk costs remained low, and we demonstrated good cost control in the first quarter. Expenses were down from the fourth quarter of 2017 when costs were higher due to investments in growth and non-recurring items. I'm pleased with the progress on the merger of Record Bank into ING Belgium, which we expect to be completed in the first half of 2018. We remain on track to achieve the €900 million cost-savings goal we set as part of our Think Forward strategy by 2021."
"As we transform ING, we have to ensure the highest standards in our daily operations. That includes further strengthening non-financial risk areas, such as customer due diligence, cyber security and anti-money laundering."
"We have successfully adopted the new IFRS 9 accounting standard, which came into effect at the beginning of this year. Now that we can better assess the potential impact of Basel IV and IFRS 9 on capital and earnings, we have been able to complete ING Group's financial ambitions with a CET1 ratio of around 13.5 percent and an underlying ROE ambition between 10 and 12 percent. We continue to expand our digital leadership and to attract customers that see us as the go-to bank, as well as delivering attractive returns to shareholders."
Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker