ING CEO Ralph Hamers and other executives today will present the theme of ‘Accelerating Think Forward’ at the ING Group Investor Day in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In order to accelerate the Think Forward strategy, ING will introduce a number of initiatives to further improve the customer experience, further grow primary customers and lending, and increase efficiency.
“Since launching Think Forward in 2014, we have made excellent progress on many fronts,” said Ralph Hamers, CEO of ING. “We attracted over three million new customers, supported the economy by growing lending by around EUR 56 billion and strengthened our capital. We did that by focusing on being clear and easy, anytime, anywhere, and empowering customers to stay a step ahead in life and in business. We also promised to keep getting better and that is exactly what today’s steps are aimed at. Our recent successes allow us to do so from a position of strength.”
“Customers are increasingly digital and bank with us more and more through mobile devices. Their needs and expectations are the same, all over the world, and they expect us to adopt new technology as fast as companies in other sectors.
“In that context, we intend to start a path of convergence towards one digital banking platform. Countries with similar value propositions intend to harmonise their business models and develop shared operating platforms. Infrastructure, data and support functions are intended to be standardised across countries and business lines. From 2016 to 2021 we intend to invest EUR 800 million in our digital transformation, building a scalable platform to cater for continued commercial growth, an improved customer experience and a quicker delivery of new products. This would allow us to continue our success in growing our client franchise and diversify our income. Through improved efficiency, the Accelerating Think Forward programme is expected to deliver approximately EUR 900 million of annual cost savings by 2021.”
It is predicted that ING’s workforce in Belgium and the Netherlands are to be the most affected. Around 3,500 workers in Belgium’s workforce and around 2,300 in the Netherlands between 2016-2021 are to be affected by the acceleration.
“Because of the work we have done in recent years, we are able to take these intended measures from a position of strength. This enables us to do our utmost to build on our track record of helping colleagues who are affected to find new job opportunities. For the intended workforce reductions, a pre-tax redundancy provision of around EUR 1.1 billion is expected to be booked, of which EUR 1.0 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016.”
“It is inevitable that the various measures and intentions announced today may have a significant impact on many of our colleagues. It means some functions will change significantly in nature. It might mean that the location of functions will change. And it might mean that positions will no longer be there in the future. All-in-all, over the coming five years, around 7,000 functions might be impacted by these effects, including 950 positions employed by external suppliers.”
Further details of the various programmes will become available in the coming months. Wherever there is an impact on the workforce, all intended measures will be made in accordance with local regulations and will be discussed with the respective stakeholders.