Transparency and privacy are conflicting ideas but both extremely important in banking. Banks, entrusted with details of companies and private individuals, must consistently weigh the pros and cons between transparency and privacy.
It’s clear to us that our stakeholders want to know more about where and to whom we lend money. Transparency is a very important aspect of sustainability. Yet there is sometimes a conflict of interest between greater portfolio transparency and customer confidentiality/privacy. As a result, ING always carefully considers the pros and cons to make a decision that’s best for all involved.
We were the first major bank in the Netherlands to disclose which sectors of industry we finance in combination with which environmental and social risk policies we apply. We do this each year.
We try here to strike a happy medium between respecting the confidentiality of our customers and being transparent. The majority of the money that we lend goes to consumers (personal loans and mortgages).
* All amounts x 1000 EUR Outstandings
We publish a detailed breakdown of our entire portfolio, approximately EUR 775 billion, comprising a list of the sectors that we finance and the amount. This is in line with the Dutch Banking Association’s transparency protocol, which ING helped create as part of a working group of banks. It tells a transparent story about how diverse and global we are. You can view ING's portfolio overview (PDF 0.1 MB) here.
We don’t publish the names of the companies that we invest in or finance. Why not? On the one hand because of customer confidentiality and our ‘duty of due care’; on the other because we have more than 33 million customers in 40 countries, which would make it a very long and tedious list.
ING is actively involved in all developments in financial supervision and regulation in all countries we do business in.
Our goal is to improve financial supervision and regulation – and how it’s put into practice – in a way that supports the interests of our stakeholders (including customers) to the fullest extent possible.
We are transparent about how we lobby and the positions we take. See:
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Mail to: Sustainability@ing.com