Legal structure and Regulators
ING Groep N.V., a publicly-listed company, is the parent of two main legal entities: ING Bank N.V. (ING Bank) and ING Verzekeringen N.V. (ING Insurance).
Dutch law prohibits combining banking and insurance activities within one legal entity because of contagion risk. This requirement is consistent with European directives dating from the early 1970s. However, banks and insurers (as well as securities institutions) are allowed to be part of one company (for instance, for commercial reasons), provided that certain risk management procedures are in place. All of ING's global activities – provided the Group owns a majority share – are in principle part of either ING Bank or ING Insurance.
ING Bank is the parent company of various Dutch and foreign banks. ING Insurance is not an actual insurance company; it is only a parent company. The various insurance companies that ING owns around the world belong to ING Insurance.
Both ING Bank N.V. and the Dutch insurance companies which are owned by ING Verzekeringen N.V. (ING Insurance) are regulated by the Dutch central bank (DNB). DNB focuses on ‘Prudential supervision’ (the health of financial institutions). DNB is part of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB). The other Dutch financial sector supervisor, the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets, is responsible for ‘conduct of business supervision’ (assessing the behaviour of players in the Dutch financial markets).