ING Groep plans to cut about 5,800 jobs in Belgium and the Netherlands over five years to reduce costs as the lender accelerates its digital transformation.
Bloomberg News reports that the bank expects to save about $1bn a year through the program, which includes about 2,300 cuts in the Netherlands and about 3,500 in Belgium through 2021, ING said in a statement Monday. The company, which had 51,833 employees at the end of June, said approximately 7,000 workers in all will be affected. ING said it will invest about $898m in digital technology.
“Unfortunately, digital transformation means less jobs,” Chief Financial Officer Patrick Flynn said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “The Netherlands and Belgium need to rely less on bank branches.”
CEO Ralph Hamers is investing in financial technology to reduce personnel and branch costs and seeking to expand lending to consumers and companies outside its home market of the Netherlands. While ING has emerged from a restructuring and government bailout with stronger capital buffers than some of its competitors, record-low interest rates and regulatory demands are putting pressure on the lender to cut costs.
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