“ING delivered a strong performance in the first quarter of 2021. The sharp rebound in net profit compared to the year-earlier period was driven by a good increase in fee income and lower risk costs,” said ING CEO Steven van Rijswijk.
“Our fee-generating business was boosted by the growth of investment products, particularly in Germany and Belgium. ING’s lending franchise demonstrated its strength in the first quarter, including through our success in converting European Central Bank TLTRO financing into lending to benefit our customers as they continue to deal with the eﬀects of the Covid-19 pandemic, thereby supporting the recovery. On risk costs, we remain cautious and are taking into account expected delays in credit losses.
“We continued to adapt our business to serve customers better and to ensure we’re focusing on the best growth opportunities for the future. We’re advancing our digital and mobile-first strategy in response to the strong rise in the use of digital channels by our customers. In the Netherlands, this is resulting in a reduction in the number of branches and an increase in the number of service points, for which we’ve taken a restructuring provision. We also announced that we’ll discontinue retail banking activities in Austria and the Czech Republic in order to focus on markets where we can achieve better scale and profitability.
“During the quarter, ING closed a record of more than 50 green deals in a growing number of sectors as clients increasingly focus on making their businesses sustainable and linking their eﬀorts in this area to their financing. With our strong ESG profile, we’re well positioned to support them in these endeavours. This is exemplified by the €10.1 billion revolving credit facility we helped to arrange for AB InBev, the largest-ever sustainability-linked loan.
“Also, to strengthen our focus on becoming a data-driven digital leader in banking, we separated the technology and operations roles at the management board level, appointing a chief technology oﬃcer. We also recently welcomed our new ING Group chief risk oﬃcer (CRO) and new head of Wholesale Banking (WB) who bring fresh perspectives and diverse backgrounds to our executive and management boards.
“I’d particularly like to thank our employees for their continued commitment, flexibility and hard work to support our customers in these challenging times.”
ING is a global financial institution with a strong European base, offering banking services through its operating company ING Bank. The purpose of ING Bank is empowering people to stay a step ahead in life and in business. ING Bank’s more than 57,000 employees offer retail and wholesale banking services to customers in over 40 countries.
ING Group shares are listed on the exchanges of Amsterdam (INGA NA, INGA.AS), Brussels and on the New York Stock Exchange (ADRs: ING US, ING.N).
Sustainability forms an integral part of ING’s strategy, evidenced by ING’s leading position in sector benchmarks by Sustainalytics and MSCI and our ‘A-list’ rating by CDP. ING Group shares are included in major sustainability and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) index products of leading providers STOXX, Morningstar and FTSE Russell. In January 2021, ING received an ESG evaluation score of 83 ('strong') from S&P Global Ratings.
IMPORTANT LEGAL INFORMATION
Elements of this press release contain or may contain information about ING Groep N.V. and/ or ING Bank N.V. within the meaning of Article 7(1) to (4) of EU Regulation No 596/2014.
ING Group’s annual accounts are prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards as adopted by the European Union (‘IFRS- EU’). In preparing the financial information in this document, except as described otherwise, the same accounting principles are applied as in the 2020 ING Group consolidated annual accounts. All figures in this document are unaudited. Small differences are possible in the tables due to rounding.
Certain of the statements contained herein are not historical facts, including, without limitation, certain statements made of future expectations and other forward-looking statements that are based on management’s current views and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to diﬀer materially from those expressed or
implied in such statements. Actual results, performance or events may diﬀer materially from those in such statements due to a number of factors, including, without limitation: (1) changes in general economic conditions and customer behaviour, in particular economic conditions in ING’s core markets, including changes aﬀecting currency exchange rates (2) the eﬀects of the Covid-19 pandemic and related response measures, including lockdowns and travel restrictions, on economic conditions in countries in which ING operates, on ING’s business and operations and on ING’s employees, customers and counterparties (3) changes aﬀecting interest rate levels (4) any default of a major market participant and related market disruption (5) changes in performance of financial markets, including in Europe and developing markets (6) political instability and fiscal uncertainty in Europe and the United States (7) discontinuation of or changes in ‘benchmark’ indices (8) inflation and deflation in our principal markets (9) changes in conditions in the credit and capital markets generally, including changes in borrower and counterparty creditworthiness (10) failures of banks falling under the scope of state compensation schemes (11) non-compliance with or changes in laws and regulations, including those concerning financial services, financial economic crimes and tax laws, and the interpretation and application thereof (12) geopolitical risks, political instabilities and policies and actions of governmental and regulatory authorities (13) legal and regulatory risks in certain countries with less developed legal and regulatory frameworks (14) prudential supervision and regulations, including in relation to stress tests and regulatory restrictions on dividends and distributions, (also among members of the group) (15) regulatory consequences of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, including authorizations and equivalence decisions (16) ING’s ability to meet minimum capital and other prudential regulatory requirements (17) changes in regulation of US commodities and derivatives businesses of ING and its customers (18) application of bank recovery and resolution regimes, including write-down and conversion powers in relation to our securities (19) outcome of current and future litigation, enforcement proceedings, investigations or other regulatory actions, including claims by customers who feel mislead and other conduct issues (20) changes in tax laws and regulations and risks of non-compliance or investigation in connection with tax laws, including FATCA (21) operational risks, such as system disruptions or failures, breaches of security, cyber-attacks, human error, changes in operational practices or inadequate controls including in respect of third parties with which we do business (22) risks and challenges related to cybercrime including the eﬀects of cyber-attacks and changes in legislation and regulation related to cybersecurity and data privacy (23) changes in general competitive factors, including ability to increase or maintain market share (24) the inability to protect our intellectual property and infringement claims by third parties (25) inability of counterparties to meet financial obligations or ability to enforce rights against such counterparties (26) changes in credit ratings (27) business, operational, regulatory, reputation and other risks and challenges in connection with climate change (28) inability to attract and retain key personnel (29) future liabilities under defined benefit retirement plans (30) failure to manage business risks, including in connection with use of models, use of derivatives, or maintaining appropriate policies and guidelines (31) changes in capital and credit markets, including interbank funding, as well as customer deposits, which provide the liquidity and capital required to fund our operations, and (32) the other risks and uncertainties detailed in the most recent annual report of ING Groep N.V. (including the Risk Factors contained therein) and ING’s more recent disclosures, including press releases, which are available on www.ING.com.
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