Our progress on restructuring
What is, in short, ING's progress on restructuring?
In 2009, a restructuring programme that met the European Commission’s requirements was agreed. In the successive years we have put that into effect with only a few steps remaining. We have conducted over 50 divestment transactions over a five-year period. The total transaction value would reach around EUR 40 billion, if we include the market value of our remaining stake in NN Group as it was at year-end 2014. We believe the effect of these divestment transactions leaves our company stronger, simpler and more sustainable.
In July 2014, NN Group, the European/Japanese insurance business, listed on the Euronext Amsterdam stock exchange. Through the listing, ING’s stake in NN Group was reduced to 68.1 percent, which remained ING’s ownership position at the end of 2014. In February 2015, ING’s stake was reduced to 54.6 percent. This is required to fall to less than 50 percent and to be deconsolidated in 2015, and to reach zero in 2016.
We had also reduced our stake in Voya Financial, Inc. (‘Voya’), our former American insurance business. We are required to fully divest our Voya holding by 2016. At year-end 2013 our stake was 57 percent, at year-end 2014 this had been reduced to approximately 19 percent. In March 2015, we completed the divestment of Voya shares.
The Dutch State has been repaid in full. In November 2008, ING received EUR 10 billion in aid from the Dutch State in the form of core Tier 1 securities. In 2009, we started repaying the Dutch State and made the final payment on 7 November 2014. This was achieved six months ahead of the repayment schedule agreed with the European Commission in 2012.
Total payments on this aid package amount to EUR 13.5 billion, resulting in an annualised return of 12.7 percent for the Dutch State.
In 2009, ING and the Dutch State agreed to transfer/sell a portfolio of US mortgage securities. The agreement to unwind this facility, also known as the Illiquid Assets Back-up Facility (IABF), was completed at the end of 2013. The actual unwinding took place and was completed early 2014, when the Dutch State sold the remaining securities in the market. This generated a EUR 1.4 billion cash profit for the Dutch State.
Finally, the remaining Government Guaranteed Notes still outstanding in 2014 were all redeemed. Over the years, ING has paid EUR 0.4 billion to the Dutch State to benefit from this scheme.
What are the restructuring commitments that remain?
We are executing the Restructuring Plan as agreed with the European Commission and met key milestones in 2014. Only limited restructuring commitments remain outstanding. These include:
We plan to divest our remaining stake in NN Group in line with agreed timelines and we expect that this divestment will also realise two further commitments:
- To reduce our balance sheet by approximately 45 per cent ‘pro rata’ - excluding growth of the balance sheet of existing business in the mean time (compared to 3Q 2008).
- To eliminate our Group debt. At year-end 2014 this stood at EUR 1.5 billion (2013: EUR 4.9 billion). The combined market value of our remaining stakes in NN Group and Voya (EUR 7.5 billion at year-end 2014), the latter of which is now fully divested should comfortably facilitate the elimination of our outstanding Group debt.
ING committed to create NN Bank as part of NN Group as a viable, standalone and competitive business. This project is underway.
Acquisition and price leadership
ING agreed not to acquire (parts of) financial companies until 18 November 2015 or the deconsolidation of NN Group, whichever comes first. These deadlines also apply to the price leadership ban, which means that we agreed not to be a price leader on standardised products in certain markets.