ING Delivers on Efficiency Boost After Run of Negative News

(Bloomberg) -- ING Groep NV has made progress toward its cost targets, easing pressure on Chief Executive Officer Ralph Hamers, who has promised to invest more in the bank’s digital transformation. The shares jumped the most in 18 months.

Net income plummeted in the third quarter after the company paid 775 million euros ($879 million) to settle charges of failing to adequately monitor and prevent money laundering. That beat estimates.

Key Insights

  • The company is getting closer to its goal of reducing spending to 52 percent of income by 2020. ING already has one of the lowest ratios among banks on the Eurostoxx banks index, though that’s been eroded by the recent increases.
  • The bank didn’t say anything about the search for a successor to Chief Financial Officer Koos Timmermans. In the wake of the money-laundering settlement, Timmermans said he would step down when a replacement is found.
  • The fine doesn’t bring the current progressive dividend policy under threat, Hamers told Bloomberg TV.

Market Reaction

  • The shares jumped by as much as 5.7 percent in Amsterdam trading, the most since April 2017, and were up 3.9 percent at 10.87 euros as of 9:11 a.m.

Get More

  • “We have reserved net profit for the payout of the dividend,” and will continue to do so in the fourth quarter, Hamers said in the interview.
  • Cost-to-income ratio fell to 49.7 percent compared to 51.9 percent in 2017, the first year-on-year improvement in six quarters.
  • For more details on the earnings, click here.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.