ING bank eliminates £1.3bn costs with operational overhaul

ING has cut €1.5 billion (£1.3 billion) from annual costs, after reorganising its IT and other operations, and streamlining processes.

In doing so, the Dutch bank exceeded by half its own savings targets, under the ‘Back To Basics’ programme. There were also 7,000 redundancies at the company, expected to represent around 35 percent of the cost savings.

ING initiated the programme after it plunged to a €1.49 billion loss for 2008 in the credit crunch, compared to an €11 billion pre-tax profit the year before.

Last year, ING signed a large contract with Atos Origin to help set up a “simplified” IT infrastructure. The services company also provides applications, system integration, consultancy and back office processing services.

The bank, which is being forced by the European Commission to split its banking and insurance businesses into two operations, said it was targeting efficiency improvements in each of the two businesses.

Operations were being “sharpened”, with reduced complexity, the bank said last year, as it worked to “streamline processes to make them more efficient and steer towards operational and commercial excellence”. A year ago, when the plan was announced, ING vowed to continue to “selectively invest in IT and infrastructure in core businesses”, even during operational cuts.

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