Brokers have been assured that despite a massive expected fourth quarter loss and looming job cuts for Dutch banking giant ING Group, it is business as usual for ING’s Australian operation ING DIRECT.
ING Group, parent company of local lender ING DIRECT, today announced an expected quarterly loss of €3.3 billion (A$6.6 billion) for the final quarter of 2008 as well as string of job cuts for the year ahead.
But according to Lisa Claes, ING DIRECT executive director of mortgages, “the ING Group loss does not affect our business in Australia".
ING Group said that it expected a full year net result of negative €1 billion (A$2 billion) as a result of challenging economic and market conditions – particularly in the fourth quarter of 2008.
As a result and in order to adapt to a “new business environment” the bank has announced a range of measures to reduce risk and expenses including 7,000 job cuts over the course of 2009.
Ms Claes assured brokers that those job losses are not expected to filter through to the wholly owned subsidiary – but stand–alone entity – ING DIRECT Australia.
“ING DIRECT Australia remains a highly successful and profitable business and is now the fifth largest bank in Australia in terms of retail mortgages and retail savings,” she told Mortgage Business.
“ING DIRECT Australia is not expecting to cut any jobs.”
Ms Claes also emphasised the bank’s ongoing commitment to third party distribution in Australia.
“Being a branchless bank ING DIRECT Australia relies on the broker channel to sell mortgages and that will not change. We have built our business in partnership with brokers and for us it is business as usual in 2009.”COMMENT HERE