THE HAGUE”•Dutch bank ING, the country’s biggest lender, Monday announced 7,000 jobs could be lost mainly in Belgium and The Netherlands to save 900 million euros ($1.01 billion) by 2021.
The move is partly directed by the bank’s bid to reshape its services for the digital banking market, in which it said it would be investing some 800 million euros.
“Over the coming five years, around 7,000 functions might be impacted by these effects,” said chief executive Ralph Hamer.
Stressing the plans were not yet final, Hamer said the workforce could be reduced by some 3,500 in Belgium and another 2,300 in The Netherlands. The remaining posts were expected to be cut by external suppliers.
“Customers are increasingly digital and bank with us more and more through mobile devices,” Hamer said in a statement.
They “expect us to adopt new technology as fast as companies in other sectors,” Hamer said, adding ING needs “to offer a better customer experience, that’s instant, personal, frictionless and relevant.”
Amsterdam-based ING employs some 52,000 people in 40 countries around the world.
It was bailed out to the tune of 10 billion euros in 2008 after the global financial crisis struck, but it was forced by the European Commission to exit the insurance business.