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ING rights issue launched amid banking and insurance split

26 October 2009 / by Rebecca Sargent

Dutch banking and insurance giant ING has revealed plans to split its banking and insurance operations, in addition to launching a €7.5billion rights issue.

The announcements are part of a restructuring plan, which will also see the group sell its insurance division.

Like UK banks HBOS and RBS, which have received Government bail-outs since the recession began, ING received cash from the Dutch Government in October last year, and will use the cash raised from these restructuring announcements to repay half of its debt before schedule.

Commenting on the news, Jan Hommen, CEO of ING said: "Today we are announcing a comprehensive set of actions that, taken together, provide a clear plan for resolving the uncertainty created by the financial crisis and will launch a new era for ING."

The move to split the banking and insurance arms did not some lightly, Jan Hommen added, arguing that the financial crisis has diminished the benefits of combining insurance and banking.

"Now, the widespread demand for greater simplicity, reliability and transparency has made a split the optimal course of action.

"We will work carefully in the coming months and years to manage the separation in a way that will support the success of our businesses in the interests of our customers, employees, shareholders and other providers of capital," Jan Hommen concluded.

Since the financial crisis began, ING has cut more than 10,000 jobs.

© Fair Investment Company Ltd