Purpose & strategy

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Our purpose is...

Empowering people to stay a step ahead in life and in business.

Empowerment is a feeling of self-reliance, of being confident and in control of your own future. We believe all sustainable progress is driven by people and businesses with the imagination and determination to improve the future for themselves and those around them. Our purpose is to empower them to realise these dreams – however modest or grand.

Our purpose guides us in everything we do. It’s founded on our belief that ING’s role as a financial institution is to support and promote economic, social and environmental progress, and at the same time generate healthy returns for shareholders.

We promise customers...

To deliver on our purpose, we have defined our Customer Promise. These are the four ways we will empower our customers with a differentiating experience.

Clear and easy

Banking doesn’t have to be difficult and time consuming. It’s all about clear products, plain language, fair prices and simple processes that save both time and money.

Anytime, anywhere

Banking should be possible anytime and anywhere, irrespective of where and how people access our products and services.

Empower

The best financial decisions are informed decisions. Customers want relevant, up-to-date information at their fingertips. They need to understand the available choices, and their implications, both today and for the future.

Keep getting better

Life and business are about moving forward. We will keep looking for ways to improve. 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

ING’s strategy is built around empowerment and the promise to customers to make banking clear and easy, available anytime and anywhere and to keep getting better.

But banking is changing. It’s being disrupted by newcomers using new technologies like blockchain, robotics and artificial intelligence. Customer expectations are changing too, shaped by their experiences online and on their smartphones: personal, instant, relevant and seamless.

It’s tech companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon that are setting the standard for how people interact with the brands they love. To remain relevant and continue delivering a differentiating experience for customers, ING has to be where they are: on the digital platforms where they are shopping, socialising and doing business.
We have to find ways to empower people and businesses on their preferred platforms with a clear and easy experience – or become a platform business ourselves.

Like ING, platforms are empowering and put people in the driving seat of their own situation. But their real advantage is their mastery of data. Knowing what people want and need helps them to drive value for themselves and their users. This attracts more users, which in turn attracts more businesses to the platform. A virtuous circle.

The other thing about platforms is that they are scalable, open and borderless, offering their users the same experience everywhere. With little to differentiate one bank’s products from another, we believe its customer experience that will set ING apart.

To create this superior customer experience, we are focusing on four strategic priorities: using our advanced data capabilities to understand our customers better and meet their changing needs; innovating faster; thinking beyond traditional banking to develop new services and business models; and earning the primary relationship. By this we mean increasing the number of Retail customers with more than one ING product (including a current account into which their salary is paid), and growing our share of Wholesale Banking clients with anchor products such as lending and transaction services.

We’ll do this by simplifying and standardising our products and processes, being operationally excellent, enhancing our company’s performance culture and expanding our lending capabilities. So that all our customers everywhere will have the same empowering ING experience.

Market positions

In the Benelux, where we are a market leader, our strategy is to grow in selected segments. These are mature businesses with strong Retail and Wholesale banking positions. We’re investing in digital leadership to deliver a universal customer experience that is best-in-class, with one integrated banking platform and a harmonised business model.

We are striving to strengthen our position in what we call our challenger markets: Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, France, the Czech Republic and Australia. Here we aim to build a full bank relationship, digitally distributed at low cost on platforms like Welcome in Germany and Model Bank, which we are developing for several European Retail markets to offer one single differentiating experience. We seek to use our direct banking expertise to grow consumer lending and lending to small and medium enterprises. We also seek to grow our corporate client base and develop our capabilities in industry lending and transaction services.

Poland, Turkey, Romania and Asia are growth markets where we see opportunity to expand our Retail and Wholesale activities and gain a sustainable market share. Here too our focus is on digital leadership and prioritising innovation.

Our Wholesale Banking network spans over 40 countries and aims to provide clients with one global cross-border experience that is seamless and efficient. We want to be their trusted financial partner offering advice, data-driven insights, sector knowledge and customised, integrated solutions on a single digital platform.

In most Retail markets we offer a full range of banking products and services, covering payments, savings, investments, mortgages and consumer loans. For corporate clients and financial institutions we provide specialised lending, tailored corporate finance and debt and equity markets solutions. We also offer working capital, payments and cash management and trade and treasury services to help corporates achieve their business goals.

ING values

People expect their bank to keep their money safe and act with integrity. That’s why we’ve defined certain behaviours and values that underpin our way of working. These make up what we call our ‘Orange Code’, which places integrity above all else.

The ING values are the principles we stick to, no matter what:

  1. We are honest.
  2. We are prudent.
  3. We are responsible.

Closely linked to this are the ING behaviours we are committed to:

  1. Take it on and make it happen.
  2. Help others to be successful.
  3. Always a step ahead.

We will not ignore, tolerate or excuse behaviour that breaches our values. To do so would break the trust of society, our customers and the thousands of colleagues who do the right thing every day to take our company forward.

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