Barclays expands through ING Direct acquisition

| October 9, 2012
Barclays expands retail operations through ING Direct acquisition

Barclays is acquiring the UK operations of Dutch banking and insurance group ING Direct.

Barclays will take on ING UK’s £10.9bn of deposits and its £5.6bn mortgage book, as well as 750 employees and 1.5 million customers.

ING, which has its UK headquarters in Reading, is divesting its UK assets to help raise funds to repay the bailout loan it received from the Dutch government in 2008.

It will make a loss of 320 million euros on the deal with Barclays.

Barclays plans to integrate ING’s UK customers into its retail business, which has 15 million UK customers.

Ashok Vaswani, head of retail banking at Barclays said: “We intend to maintain the high standard of service and honour the existing terms and conditions [customers] have experienced with ING Direct”.

It is the first major deal for Barclays’ new chief executive Antony Jenkins, who replaced Bob Diamond in the role.

Jenkins had previously suggested that he would increase Barclays’ focus on retail banking and reduce its riskier investment banking operations.

Bob Diamond resigned from Barclays following revelations that the bank had been involved in the Libor interest rate rigging scandal.

MEPs are today voting on legislation which would make financial crimes such as Libor-rigging a criminal offence.

The results of a poll by YouGov/Avaaz suggest that this would be a popular move with the general public.

Almost 90% of people polled thought that bankers who commit fraud or manipulate markets should receive a jail sentence.

Arlene McCarthy MEP, vice-chair of the Economic & Monetary Affairs Committee, said: “Fines have proved ineffective and have not changed the culture in the banking industry.

“We are therefore extending the law to, for the first time, impose tough EU wide criminal sanctions and jail time.

“It will cover all benchmarks and indices as the Libor manipulation shows that abuse is still rife in the banking sector.”

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