ING recorded strong commercial momentum with continued growth in primary customers and core lending
· Primary customer base increased in 3Q18 by 200,000 to 12.2 million and the total retail customer base stood at 38.0 million
· Net core lending was well diversified and grew by €6.8 billion in 3Q18; net customer deposit inflow amounted to €3.4 billion
ING 3Q18 underlying pre-tax result of €2,124 million; Net result was €776 million after €775 million settlement amount
· 3Q18 result reflects continued business growth at resilient margins, low level of risk costs and expense control
· 3Q18 net result includes €775 million settlement agreement with the Dutch authorities as announced on 4 September 2018
· ING's 3Q18 four-quarter rolling average underlying ROE was 10.7% and the fully loaded CET1 ratio remained strong at 14.0%
"The third quarter of 2018 for ING was deeply marked by the settlement agreement with the Dutch Public Prosecution Service. As a bank, we have the responsibility to ensure that our operations meet the highest standards, especially when it comes to securing the integrity of our own operations and that of the financial system," said Ralph Hamers, CEO of ING Group. "Not meeting these standards is unacceptable. It is sincerely regrettable that the investigations identified serious shortcomings in the execution of policies to prevent financial economic crime at ING Netherlands. We take this very seriously and accept full responsibility. Under the terms of the agreement, ING has paid a fi ne of €775 million in the third quarter of 2018.
"We are committed to conducting our business with integrity, and are taking a number of robust measures to strengthen our management of compliance risks and support a stronger risk awareness culture. We are enhancing our customer due diligence fi les where necessary and are working on various structural improvements in our compliance policies, tooling, monitoring and governance. To embed these improvements thoroughly and sustainably across the organisation, we will give continuous attention to fostering a stronger compliance risk management mindset. Regulatory compliance is a key priority which we will advance on through clear leadership communication, training courses, integrity dilemma workshops and behaviour risk assessments. Integrating regulatory compliance more deeply into our DNA will support sustainable results. Last, but not least, we find it very important to continue our collaborations with public and private entities, including our supervisors and regulators, to achieve better structural outcomes in this area.
"Commercial momentum was strong in the third quarter of 2018 and ING recorded continued business growth at resilient margins. The underlying result before tax was €2,124 million, up both year-on-year and sequentially. Net core lending growth in the third quarter was robust at €6.8 billion and was well diversified across Retail and Wholesale Banking. We gained 200,000 primary customers during the quarter, bringing the total to 12.2 million, while our total global customer base was 38.0 million at the end of the quarter. Expenses remained under control and were only slightly higher than a year ago. Compared with the previous quarter, expenses were 1.7% lower. Risk costs amounted to an annualised 27 basis points of average risk-weighted assets, well below the through-the-cycle average, notwithstanding broader financial market volatility including events in Turkey. The underlying return on equity on a four-quarter rolling average basis rose to 10.7%. The quarterly net result was €776 million, including the settlement amount, which was recorded as a special item after tax. ING Group's fully loaded CET1 ratio remained strong at 14.0%.
"Banks also have a responsibility to finance positive change and we are stepping up to that. In the third quarter, we announced ING's commitment to steer our lending portfolio toward the well-below 2-degree goal of the Paris Climate Agreement. This will be done using an innovative measurement approach, which we are co-developing with the 2 Degrees Investing Initiative. We are pleased to be the first global bank to commit to using science-based scenarios to steer our business strategy.
"The settlement did have an impact on our reputation and quarterly results. We remain focused on the execution of our Think Forward strategy and our commitment to our customers, shareholders, supervisors, regulators and other stakeholders. Our transformation plans are on track to reach the milestones set out in our strategy. We move ahead with a heightened resolve to strengthen our compliance risk management framework and further embed compliance into our corporate DNA. This will guide us as we build a sustainable future for ING."
All publications related to ING's 3Q18 results can be found at www.ing.com/3q18, including a video with Ralph Hamers. The video is also available on YouTube. Additional financial information is available at www.ing.com/qr:
· ING Group historical trend data (PDF, XLS)
· ING Group analyst presentation (PDF, also available via SlideShare)
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