ING announced today that it has reached an agreement to sell ING Direct UK to Barclays. The transaction is part of ING's ongoing evaluation of its portfolio of businesses and is in line with ING's strategic objective to sharpen the focus of the bank.
Under the terms of the agreement, the £10.9 billion (EUR 13.4 billion at current exchange rates) of savings deposits and £5.6 billion of mortgages (EUR 6.9 billion) of ING Direct UK will be transferred to Barclays, who will eventually integrate these businesses in its UK Retail and Business Banking division.
"ING Direct UK operated in a very competitive market over the past years and I am proud of the excellent customer experience our UK team has built, as proven by the customer satisfaction scores. In Barclays we have found a company who will continue to provide the excellent service our approximately 1.5 million ING Direct customers in the UK have grown accustomed to," said Jan Hommen, CEO of ING.
Launched in 2003, ING Direct UK is a direct banking platform which offers a focused range of savings and mortgages products to our customers in the UK through secure online and mobile internet channels, supported by call centres in Reading and Cardiff. Over the past years, ING Direct UK has received numerous awards for its products, customer service and employee engagement. At 31 August 2012 ING Direct UK had approximately 750 employees.
The ING Direct units in Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Spain are not affected by today's announcement. ING continues to invest to evolve the ING Direct business model, increasing the product offering and extending distribution, while integrating the balance sheet with the rest of ING Bank. The ING Commercial Banking activities in the UK are also not affected by the transaction announced today.
The transfer of ING Direct UK's savings deposits and mortgages to Barclays will be executed by way of a court approved banking business transfer pursuant to Part VII of the UK Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. The transfer is expected to result in an after tax loss of approximately EUR 260 million.
ING Bank will retain part of the UK investment portfolio of EUR 9 billion as per 31 August 2012 as part of ING Bank's total investment portfolio. Another part of the UK investment portfolio will mature or be liquidated in the coming months to facilitate the transaction which is expected to result in an after tax loss of approximately EUR 60 million to be reported in the fourth quarter of 2012.
The combined loss for the transfer of the business and the investment portfolio will be offset by an expected total capital release of approximately EUR 330 million due to Risk Weighted Assets release. The total transaction will therefore be capital neutral to ING Bank's core Tier 1 ratio.
With approximately 140,000 employees and operations in more than 50 countries, Barclays is a major global financial-services provider engaged in personal banking, credit cards, corporate and investment banking and wealth and investment management. Barclays UK Retail and Business Banking has more than 15 million retail customers and 700,000 business customers across the UK. It offers a wide range of products and services including savings accounts, mortgages, loans and credit cards through online, telephony, mobile and around 1600 branches across the UK.
The transfer of ING Direct UK's savings deposits and mortgages is subject to various regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2013. Information relating to the transfer of business pursuant to Part VII of the UK Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 will be sent to ING Direct UK customers in due course and will be made available via www.ingdirect.co.uk: