Dutch ING Bank sells UK online arm ING Direct to Barclays

Dutch banking group ING Groep NV (AMS:INGA) on Tuesday said it had agreed to shed its British online banking business ING Direct UK to Barclays Plc (LON:BARC), without disclosing the value of the transaction.

The move is part of ING’s ongoing business portfolio review, serving its strategy to sharpen banking focus, the vendor said.

The agreed terms call for ING to transfer ING Direct UK’s GBP10.9bn (USD17.5bn/EUR13.5bn) savings deposits and its GBP5.6bn mortgages to Barclays, with the buyer to integrate these operations into its retail and banking division in the UK.

In a comment, ING’s CEO Jan Hommen pointed out that ING Direct UK’s new owner will continue providing the same services to the unit’s 1.5m customers in the UK.

Set up in 2003, ING Direct UK has some 750 employees as at 31 August 2012.
Its current parent expects a capital release of around EUR330m and a transaction loss after tax of some EUR320m from the disposal, which it sees to have a neutral impact on its core Tier 1 ratio.

ING Bank will keep part of its UK investment portfolio worth EUR9bn as of 31 August 2012, while liquidating another part of it to facilitate the transaction. The deal will not affect the ING commercial banking operations in the UK, the vendor said.

Subject to regulatory approvals, the transfer if ING Direct UK’s operations is seen to complete in the second quarter of 2013.