ING maintains good commercial momentum, while continuing KYC enhancement programme
- Retail primary customer relationships rose by 150,000 to reach 12.6 million
- Net core lending increased by €8.7 billion in 1Q19; net customer deposit inflow amounted to €4.8 billion
ING 1Q19 underlying pre-tax result is €1,582 million
- Results reflect continued business growth at resilient margins, solid fee income and good cost control
- Four-quarter rolling underlying ROE was 11.0% and the ING Group CET1 ratio increased to 14.7%
“We’ve had a positive start to the year, with first-quarter results that show good commercial momentum,” said Ralph Hamers, CEO of ING Group. “Our global primary customer base grew by 150,000 to 12.6 million and our most recent net promoter scores among customers rank us first in six of our 13 retail markets. We recorded €8.7 billion of net core lending growth. Our first-quarter underlying pre-tax result declined 6.2% to €1,582 million compared to the first quarter of 2018. Income grew both year on year and sequentially and we see the positive results of our transformation programme coming through, especially in the Netherlands and Belgium. However, this was off set by higher but still relatively low risk costs, and pressure from low interest rates in our main eurozone markets.
“We continue to improve the way we manage non-financial risk. An important element of that is our global know your customer (KYC) enhancement programme. We now have over 2,500 full-time employees working on KYC across the bank, in all client segments and all business units. We have rolled out an adverse media screening tool and have begun assessing behavioural risks. All these efforts aim to further embed non-financial risk management structurally throughout ING.
“At the same time, we continued to innovate in the first quarter to improve the banking experience for our customers, while helping them transition to a more efficient and more sustainable economy. We’ve taken steps to make banking easier for our customers. We participated in the initial launch of instant payments in the Netherlands and Belgium by the Dutch Payments Association and the Belgian Banking Federation. Funds now get credited to the beneficiary account within five seconds, giving customers immediate access to their funds and helping them optimise cash flows. Later this year, we expect to expand instant payments to other countries and other banks in Europe.
“We also enhanced our service offering at ING in France by launching ‘instant mortgages’. By digitalising the process required for a mortgage and making use of the European PSD2 legislation we can now grant home loan approvals in just two days.
“We took several steps in blockchain and distributed ledger technology to further improve our offering and client experience. For example, we made codes we had created to ensure data privacy even faster, safer and easier to use with a new release called Bulletproofs. These codes, which are open source, were successfully used in the first quarter in a proof of concept with a university in the Netherlands. ING is also co-developing a platform called MineHub to help clients in metals and mining to lower costs, increase transparency and contribute to sustainable production and trading. Our work does not go unnoticed. We rank fifth among global listed companies with the highest blockchain potential for 2019 in Forbes.
“ING continued to empower clients in transitioning to a low-carbon and self-reliant society in the first quarter by taking part in 12 sustainable bond transactions and 16 sustainable loan transactions. Many of these were sustainability ‘firsts’, such as our first solar rooftop financing in Asia Pacific and the first sustainability improvement loan in the US general industrial sector.
“One thing that should remain absolutely clear is that we understand how vital it is to master the management of nonfinancial risks as well as financial risks, and we are committed to doing so. This dedication is matched by our commitment to our customers as we continuously look for new innovative ways to empower them to stay a step ahead in life and in business.”