Dutch financial services group ING

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Dutch financial services group ING

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Dutch financial services group ING has announced that it will divide itself into separate companies, splitting its banking and insurance businesses.

Once it has been separated, ING plans to sell the insurance division. It is also going to sell shares to existing investors so it can repay half of its 10 billion euro aid from the Dutch government early. (In order to get European Commission approval for its restructuring programme, ING said it would need to sell its US internet banking arm ING Direct USA by 2013.) It is the latest step in ING’s “Back to Basics” programme, which has resulted in 10,800 job cuts so far this year. ING expects to report third-quarter profits of about 750 million euros, compared with a loss of over 560 million euros in the same period last year.