The FINANCIAL -- “ING Group had a successful year in 2013, delivering an improved financial result while making significant progress on our transformation,” said Ralph Hamers, CEO of ING Group, according to ING.
“We reported a full-year underlying net profit of EUR 3,255 million, up 22.2% from 2012. The improvement was driven by a solid performance at ING Bank, which recorded a 21.6% increase in underlying pre-tax results, as well as an improved operating result for the ongoing business at ING Insurance which rose 6.4% from 2012.”
“We have also kept up the momentum on our transformation program in the fourth quarter, during which we resolved the divestment of our Asian Insurance and Investment Management businesses, reduced our stake in ING U.S. to 57%, and lowered our holding in SulAmérica. We have strengthened the capital position of ING Insurance ahead of its intended IPO in 2014. We also reduced our State support by paying another tranche of core Tier 1 securities in November, and by unwinding the IABF in December 2013. We are now within the final phase of our restructuring and have started 2014 as a simpler, stronger and more sustainable company.”
“While working diligently to strengthen our businesses for their independent futures, we have consistently placed our highest priority on customer-centricity and have gained more customers along the way. ING-DiBa, for example, welcomed its 8 millionth customer in 2013 and is the third largest retail bank in Germany by number of customers. In Spain, ING opened its millionth payment account, eight years after the first account was opened there. Our customers’ use of internet and mobile banking are expanding rapidly and we now have around 3 million mobile banking customers in 14 countries. We’re proud that customers choose to do business with us.”
“In the fourth quarter of 2013, ING Bank posted a solid underlying result before tax of EUR 904 million, reflecting a strengthening of the interest margin to 1.45% and despite seasonally lower activity in Financial Markets. The result on the unwinding of the IABF supported income in the fourth quarter and helped offset an increase in expenses, which was caused by the annual Dutch bank tax and additional restructuring charges in Retail Netherlands stemming from the extension of existing cost-saving programmes. Risk costs remained elevated and edged up slightly from the third quarter, but were down year-on-year. ING Bank continued to demonstrate progress towards Ambition 2015. The cost/income ratio for the full year improved to 56.8% and the full-year underlying return on IFRS-EU equity rose to 9.0%, within reach of our 2015 target. The year-end capital position was strong with a core Tier 1 ratio of 11.7% and a pro-forma fully-loaded CRD IV core Tier 1 ratio of 10.0%.”
“ING Insurance moved forward in defining its independent future. Its new ‘NN‘ brand was launched in October and the segmentation of ING Insurance was aligned to better reflect its businesses. The fourth-quarter operating result for the ongoing business of ING Insurance was EUR 215 million, primarily reflecting improved performance in Netherlands Life. We have taken measures in the fourth quarter of 2013, as well as in early 2014, to fortify the capital position of ING Insurance. As a result, the IGD and NN Life solvency ratios increased sharply and local entities are currently adequately capitalised. Preparations for the base case IPO are on track and we intend to go to market this year, assuming conditions are favourable.”
“For 2014, I am confident that we are well positioned to achieve our strategic objectives and that we will continue to make progress in completing the restructuring, while keeping our customers at the heart of everything we do.”