We are a global financial institution with a strong European base, offering banking services. We draw on our experience and expertise, our commitment to excellent service and our global scale to meet the needs of a broad customer base, comprising individuals, families, small businesses, large corporations, institutions and governments. Our customers are at the heart of what we do.
Our more than 52,000 employees offer retail and commercial banking services to customers in over 40 countries. Our strengths include our well-known, strong brand with positive recognition from customers in many countries, strong financial position, omnichannel distribution strategy and international network. Moreover, ING is currently among leaders in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index ‘Banks industry’ group.
Our purpose and strategy
We believe all sustainable progress is driven by people with the imagination and determination to improve their future and the futures of those around them. We empower people and organisations to realise their own vision for a better future – however modest or grand. Our purpose therefore is: Empowering people to stay a step ahead in life and in business.
Following this purpose we have defined four simple promises that together form the Customer Promise and are part of our strategy.
Clear and easy
Banking doesn’t have to be difficult and time consuming. Less is more. It’s all about clear products, plain language, fair prices and simple processes. That saves both time and money.
We work to get our services where our customers are. Banking should be possible anytime and anywhere.
The best financial decisions are informed decisions. Customers want relevant, up-to-date information at their fingertips. They need to understand their choices, and the implications, both today and for the future.
Keep getting better
Life and business are about moving forward. We will keep looking for new ways to make things better. With new ideas, new solutions and new approaches to make things easier for our customers. That way, we can all stay a step ahead.
Our strategy aims to create a differentiating customer experience, enabled by simplifying and streamlining our organisation, further striving for operational excellence, enhancing the performance culture within our company and expanding our lending capabilities. The potential for improvement in these areas varies with our current market positions, which we have divided into Market leaders (Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg), Challengers (Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, France and Australia) and Growth markets (Poland, Turkey, Romania and our business units in Asia).
Our focus is on becoming the primary bank for more customers through growing the share of payment accounts with recurrent income and at least one other product with ING in retail banking and with anchor products such as lending and transaction services in commercial banking.
Market leaders are the Benelux countries where we currently have leading market positions in retail banking and commercial banking services. In Benelux countries our strategy is to grow in selected segments, continue to develop towards a direct-first model, invest in digital leadership and deliver on operational excellence programmes.
In Challengers markets we strive to strengthen our market position. Our business units offer both retail and commercial banking services. Our retail activities are mainly direct banking services delivered online which provide a cost advantage over traditional banks. We plan to invest in our Challenger markets to use our strong savings franchises and expand into payments accounts to build primary banking relationships with customers. We seek to use our direct banking expertise to grow our lending business at low cost in areas like consumer lending and lending to SMEs. We will also seek to grow our corporate client base and develop capabilities in Industry Lending and Transaction Services in most of these countries.
In Growth Markets, we offer a full range of retail and wholesale banking services in strongly expanding economies that offer good growth opportunities. We strive to invest to achieve sustainable share and will focus on digital leadership by converging to the direct-first model and prioritising innovation.
We are a network bank for our clients across Europe with global reach and we are investing in our business transformation programme, the Wholesale Banking Target Operating Model. We have a number of global franchises. We are targeting continued growth in our client base and in Industry Lending and Transaction Services. In Challenger countries we are expanding our asset generating capabilities to promote locally optimised balance sheets and broader franchises.
In all our activities, we carefully weigh the interests of our various stakeholders such as customers, including individuals, families, small businesses, large corporations, financial institutions, governments, public-private entities and supranational agencies. Other important stakeholders are our shareholders and bondholders, our employees, supervisors, regulators, civil society organisations and citizens.
Our corporate responsibility
ING wants to build its future on sustainable profit, based on sound business ethics and respect for its stakeholders. Our business is based upon trust. Only by acting with professionalism and integrity can we maintain stakeholders’ confidence. The ING values play an important role in this respect. ING refreshes its values every five years to ensure their relevance in a changing environment. On 22 January 2015, ING launched new ING values:
- We are honest
- We are prudent
- We are responsible
We believe that the ultimate purpose of a financial institution is to support and stimulate economic, social and environmental progress leading to a better quality of life for people in society. We don’t just want to mitigate harm and do good; we also want to drive progress. We believe all sustainable progress is driven by people with the imagination and determination to improve their future and the future of those around them. Facilitating economic growth by playing our role as a bank should go hand in hand with social progress and environmental preservation or else these returns cannot be sustained in the long term. One of the ways in which we strive to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable economy is by backing ambitious and responsible entrepreneurs and companies. We also believe that doing so will create a higher quality asset portfolio in the long term. The more successful we are in accomplishing our mission, the more society at large will benefit.