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ING to cut thousands more jobs

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ING to cut thousands more jobs
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ING has announced deeper job cuts in its retail banking business in the Netherlands and Belgium.

The latest layoffs by the Dutch financial services group brings the total over the past 15 months to 7,500 or roughly nine percent of its workforce at the end of last year.

ING Chief Executive Jan Hommen did not rule out further cuts. ING’s shares fell after it released its 2012 results and announced the cuts.

At the same time ING reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter net profit.

It is currently selling insurance and investment management parts of the business and separating its banking and insurance operations under the terms of a state bailout.

Online shift

Explaining the cost cuts – which are intended to save about one billion euros annually by 2015 – ING said more of its customers were shifting their banking online.

Internet banking is well-established in the Netherlands and ING had been a market leader with its standalone online banks, ING Direct, in several markets.

“Customers are rapidly moving towards more digital environments, more online usage and less of the traditional approach, and we have to respond to that,” Chief Financial Officer Patrick Flynn said.

“Our more traditional retail entities in the Netherlands and Belgium are moving in the same direction now.”