ING continues to record commercial growth in 1Q17 with consistent focus on innovation and sustainability
Primary customer numbers up: EUR 5.7 billion net core lending growth and EUR 6.7 billion net customer deposit inflow
ING's innovative new products and services as well as sustainability initiatives are increasingly being adopted by the market
ING 1Q17 underlying pre-tax result of EUR 1,652 million, up 39.3% year-on-year
· Strong result reflects robust loan growth at resilient margins, improved performance in Financial Markets and lower risk costs
· ING Group fully-loaded common equity Tier 1 (CET1) ratio of 14.5%, up from 14.2% at year-end 2016
"ING had a strong first quarter supported by continued commercial growth," said Ralph Hamers, CEO of ING Group. "ING's underlying pre-tax result rose 39.3% to EUR 1,652 million from a year ago, reflecting continued loan growth, good cost control and relatively low risk costs. Wholesale Banking's contribution was particularly strong, led by higher income from Financial Markets and commissions. While the first-quarter net result declined to EUR 1,143 million from EUR 1,257 million a year ago, this is explained by a EUR 506 million profit from the sale of shares in NN Group in the first quarter of 2016."
"We continued to innovate in Wholesale Banking, where Easy Trading Connect reached a milestone by successfully completing the first test of a large oil trade using blockchain technology, in cooperation with one of our clients and a major French bank. This proves that the commodity trade finance sector, where processes are largely paper-based and labour intensive, can be digitalised. We also collaborated with our client Royal Philips, acting as Sustainability Coordinator in the creation of the first syndicated loan where the pricing is linked to the client's Sustainalytics rating. If the rating goes up, the interest rate on the EUR 1 billion revolving credit facility goes down-and vice versa. This is an example of how companies are increasingly integrating sustainability into their business objectives."
"We're innovating across other areas of the bank as well. For example, with Payconiq, the mobile payments platform developed by ING, launched in Belgium in 2015 and now supported by two other Belgian banks. The number of Belgian retailers using the service has increased to 25,000 from 6,500 in July of last year. Following this success, ING and five other Dutch banks announced plans to launch Payconiq in the Netherlands this summer."
"I am proud that all of the innovations highlighted above were developed by ING and then adopted by other banks. This underscores our record as a digital banking leader and shows that we're able to provide an experience for customers that makes us stand out from our competitors. This approach is just one of the reasons why our Net Promoter Score has improved to number one in eight countries, up from seven countries last quarter. ING had 36.1 million customers as at 31 March 2017, including 9.85 million primary bank customers, which is an increase of 8.4% year-on-year."
"Our net core lending grew by EUR 5.7 billion in the quarter, well diversified across Retail and Wholesale Banking, and net customer deposits increased by EUR 6.7 billion. Stable margins and higher commissions helped drive a 39.5% increase in the underlying net result compared with the first quarter of 2016. Operating expenses were well controlled, despite seasonally high regulatory costs, while risk costs remained low. ING Group's fully loaded CET1 ratio increased by 0.3 percentage point to 14.5% at the end of March 2017, while the four-quarter underlying return on equity improved to 10.8% from 8.1% a year ago."
"As we announced in October 2016, ING is uniting people, platforms and processes to build the bank of the future. In Belgium, ING and our trade union partners agreed on a Social Plan that supports employees whose jobs may be impacted and results in a lower number of compulsory lay-offs, while staying in line with the financial impact we estimated in October."
"We said farewell to CFO Patrick Flynn this week and will do the same for CRO Wilfred Nagel in August. I'm grateful for all that they have done for ING and for me personally over the years. As of this week, we welcome Koos Timmermans and Steven van Rijswijk to the Executive Board, and Roland Boekhout to the Management Board Banking. Their leadership will help drive ING's transformation into the digital bank of the future as we focus on remaining relevant for our customers, thereby ensuring our own sustainable success."
All publications related to ING's 1Q17 results can be found at www.ing.com/1q17, including a video with Ralph Hamers. The video is also available on YouTube. Additional financial information is available at www.ing.com/qr
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