ING cuts 1,700 jobs as part of digital push

AMSTERDAM - ING, the largest Dutch bank, said on Tuesday it would scrap 1,700 jobs over the next three years as part of an online banking push and would book a provision of 320 million euros (S$518.75 million) in the fourth quarter to finance them.

It said the cuts and associated IT investments would yield annual gross savings of around 270 million euros a year from 2018. Most of the cuts would fall in the retail banking headquarters, back offices, call centres and IT departments.

Earlier this month, state-owned rival ABN Amro, the second-biggest Dutch lender, said it would cut 1,000 jobs as part of a digitisation strategy that would involve pruning its branch network.

ING said it would invest around 200 million euros in its IT systems between 2015 and 2017, consolidating the IT systems it uses for its mobile app, website, call centre and bank branches, allowing the same services to be offered on each.

"We are creating a consistent customer experience by integrating our service channels in the Netherlands and by making a substantial investment to simplify and upgrade our IT systems," Chief Executive Ralph Hamers said.