the gap is widening for ING bank in Belgium

ING’s announcements are never good, whether on the French or Belgian side, in 2021. In our neighbors, where the bank has physical branches, new closures have just been announced. A total of 55 branches will close within a year to pass from 405 to 350 physical points. Normally, these closures would concern ING’s own branches (numbering 94), while the bank also has franchise offices, reports SudInfo.

On the employee side, there are no plans to lay off, however, wanted to reassure the Dutch bank. According to estimates, the closures of 55 ING branches nevertheless concern 150 people who will have to be reassigned to a new position elsewhere. Behind the bank’s difficulty in dealing with the emergence of mobile banks, however, the time has come for a certain optimism: “our objective is now to have larger offices, to provide more expertise”, said the one of the spokespersons.

“I’m afraid other waves of closures will follow”, reacted Maarten Dedeyne of the liberal union ACLVB. ING Bank’s restructuring plan is given 2024 as a horizon, but the unions complained that they did not have such a distant vision on their side: the only measures and objectives mentioned run until 2022, only.

ING France on sale

On the French side, ING has no physical branch. The French division is a mobile division, which also presents itself as the second online bank in the country, behind Boursorama Banque and ahead of Hello bank !. But as various media made the headlines, this one would be on sale. The result is a portfolio of one million customers, not sufficiently profitable for the bank of the Netherlands.

Although ING France had a million customers, this number has grown more for several years. And customers no longer make their account a main account, for the day to day. Many use the bank as a single savings account, a Livret A, PEL, life insurance or even a LEO. Unprofitable activities, but a portfolio of 20 billion euros of activities.

“For a few tens of millions of euros, this is an opportunity to be seized” indicated a source interviewed by Les Echos at the beginning of October. Societe Generale (with Boursorama Banque), Crédit Mutuel and Crédit Agricole would be the contenders for the takeover. But for now, none of these establishments, nor ING, have officially spoken of these negotiations and this sale. Customers are still in the dark about the future of their account.

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