ING profits dip on tough year of restructuring

Tim Wallace
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DUTCH finance group ING yesterday announced it is cutting another 2,400 jobs as it unveiled a disappointing fourth-quarter profit figure.

That brings current headcount cuts to 7,400 which the bank hopes will save €1bn (£865m) a year by 2015.

The group made €1.434bn in the final three months of the year, up 21 per cent on the year but below expectations.

Much of that gain was down to divestments as the group sells off non-core units such as its UK savings arm.

On an underlying basis profits dipped from €664m to €184m with the bank tax and losses on the sale of peripheral European securities hurting the group.

Full-year profits came in at €3.894bn, down 32.5 per cent.

The slowdown comes in part from the ongoing repayment of the group’s bailout, giving €1.125bn to the Dutch government in the year – a payment which hit the institution’s core tier one capital ratio to the tune of 20 basis points. ING still has €3.4bn of aid to repay by 2015.

Shares fell 4.04 per cent on the news.