FinTech Magazine takes a closer look at how ING has consolidated its position as a global financial service leader in 2020 so far.
2019 was a great year for ING and this is evidenced by its FY2019 results. The bank’s customer base rose by 830,000 to a total of 38.8 million.
"Looking back at 2019, we see a year of solid commercial performance despite the challenging rate environment, geopolitical uncertainties and an increasingly complex and demanding regulatory environment," said Ralph Hamers, CEO of ING Group. "I'm proud of our commercial performance as pricing discipline and growth helped counter the pressure of negative interest rates. We recorded a 4.5% rise in underlying expenses for 2019, which includes a marked increase in regulatory costs, as well as costs related to our KYC enhancement programme.”
As we get into the swing of 2020, ING is gaining momentum with a number of new strategies that will continue to consolidate it as a leading bank.
1. Driving financial technology
ING recently announced that its advanced analytics tool, Katana, is going to become a standalone company called Katana Labs that will be based in London. This will make analytics more accessible to other companies looking to adopt the technology.
“A growing number of clients are discovering the advantages of using advanced analytics in decision-making. It enables them to work faster and more efficiently,” said Santiago Braje, CEO of Katana and former head of Credit Trading at ING.
2. Strategic partnerships
ING has a number of strategic partnerships and the most recent addition to its portfolio is Tradeteq. Under the partnership, Tradeteq will distribute ING's commodity trade finance exposures to non-bank institutional investors. The platform has already facilitated a transaction between ING and American institutional investor giant, Federated Hermes. The partnership signifies the bank’s understanding of the shifting landscape of finance and the value of adopting technology.
Christoph Gugelmann, CEO of Tradeteq, comments: “ING and Federated Hermes’ use of Tradeteq provides a clear example of how the trade finance market is being transformed. Tradeteq is opening up the trade finance market to institutional investors and offering access to an alternative asset class with high levels of transparency and yield opportunities. At the same time, the platform enables banks to reduce their risk exposures and tackle the US$1.5 trillion trade finance gap. Any new marketplace needs both originators and investors; as this transaction shows, Tradeteq is attracting both market makers and market takers to the platform.”
3. A commitment to sustainability
[image: ING's Cedar office]
Last month the bank opened a new office in Amsterdam. The new building has been awarded the highest sustainability rating by BREEAM-NL, marking the bank’s commitment to sustainability.
“This new building embodies all we aspire to,” said Hamers. “It’s open and transparent, as nearly all walls are made of glass, and it creates an atmosphere that encourages collaboration. The building will play a central role within Cumulus Park, inspiring new ways to innovate. And, with Cedar we reduced the consumption of natural resources as much as possible.’
4. Refreshing brand strategy
ING has launched a new brand strategy with the tagline “do your thing” which aims to inspire customers to work hard and progress with whatever drives them most. In the age of “side hustles” and social media influence, the new tagline is resonant with that of Nike’s “just do it,” with a Millenial and Gen-Z slant, showing that the bank is willing to alter its branding to connect with younger generations.
[image: Ralph Hamers]
"As I look ahead to a new year and new decade, I’m excited to have started 2020 in our new office at the heart of the Cumulus Park innovation district in Amsterdam and with the launch of our new global brand strategy: do your thing. It represents our promise to make banking frictionless, allowing people to be free to do more of what moves them or their business," concludes Hamers.
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