COVID-19 has deeply impacted the economy and forced numerous businesses to shut shop. Some of the bigger businesses, such as Dutch banking group ING, have also reported a dip in their quarterly YoY profits. In their latest Q3 2020 net results, the company posted net profit of €788M, which is almost half the €1.4bn reported it reported last year in Q3. As a result, the company is closing down some of its branches in various regions and cutting down on staff numbers.
ING to close its offices in several regions
The first step ING is taking to refocus its efforts is to shift its aim to activities that ensure faster client delivery and improving end-to-end digital customer experience. In the company’s Wholesale Banking sector, this will result in shifting focus on core clients and ‘simplifying’ the company’s geographical footprint. The bank will thus close down its wholesale banking offices in South America and Asia. Additionally, it will also downsize integration operations in several EU countries and let go of about 1,000 jobs.
Cutting down to further the goal of a digital universal bank
ING is inclined to work on its vision of a digital universal bank and will focus on three main criteria for this. The first one is how the company’s technology foundation is used worldwide. This includes its shared data lakes, cloud and modular IT building blocks that enable the company to re-use components where possible. The bank will also focus on the rollout of global digital product offerings in insurance, investments and consumer lending.
ING will also considerably reduce the scope of its programme Maggie, which launched to deliver a standardised customer experience and integrate the product offering in four of the company’s European Challenger countries. “The change in Maggie’s scope has led to an impairment of €140 million, primarily related to capitalised software development costs. The refocusing of our wholesale and retail activities will result in a headcount reduction of approximately 1,000 FTEs by year-end 2021,” says Steven van Rijswijk, CEO of ING Group.
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