ING dutifully followed the EU approval directive and conditions (which by the way, well, actually was more like punishment, for the liquidity crunch and Dutch state loan, at the bottom of the 2008 crisis) to clean its business portfolio, and ING completed a lot of forced sells of noncore business units all over the world.
ING sold in this last 5 years into a very weak demand for bank/insurance businesses almost all of its noncore businesses at an average of less than book price by now.
This process added to and improved ING's central treasury's liquidity, provided time to restructure, rethink core business strategy. BUT this period is over after 5 years, this ING does not need any more. It needs something else.
As the price for the so-called help, the forced sells destroyed real business value for ING shareholders, prevented to develop and destroyed almost all growth paths available for ING, at home and on emerging markets. ING still keeps paying a huge price for state loan in a zero interest rate environment.
One more that kind of bailout, and ING will collapse under the weight of outside "help".
Lets face facts: at the end, this was not help. This was max. a well-intended idea with VERY BAD final results. The end result was much closer to a bank robbery, orchestrated by EU, institutionalized by EU conditions. This destroyed tens of billions (most probably over $40B!) real value. Filled the coffers of the buyers of sold units, the state, and helped win IPO buyers at rock-bottom prices.
No wonder here: every time a state of superstate EU mixes into business, it destroys value, and the real effect is opposite to what was intended.
This crazy silliness MUST stop NOW.
Everything you say is true, but, the company destroyed itself, as others did, with the madness of the real estate market. We are here now, almost paid off with the EU, and still a valuable large bank , that if managed only satisfactorily, going forward, has very good return potential for its shareholders.