AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – ING Groep’s chief executive Ralph Hamers told shareholders on Tuesday that the Dutch bank would consider a cross-border takeover under some circumstances, Dutch daily Financieele Dagblad reported.
The comments by Hamers at its annual general meeting follow reports that ING has shown interest in acquiring Commerzbank if the German bank’s ongoing merger talks with Deutsche Bank fail.
ING, which is the third largest bank in Germany, and Commerzbank have declined comment on those reports.
Hamers also repeated ING’s line that it would consider acquisitions to acquire technology or skills it does not have.
“But if it should come to a consolidation in one of the markets in which we are active, that would prompt us to a thought process,” Financieele Dagblad quoted him as saying.
“We would then ask ourselves whether we can grow in that market independently.”
Germany is ING’s second largest market after the Netherlands.
(Reporting by Toby Sterling; editing by Alexander Smith)