ING posts 1Q2021 net result of €1,005 million

1Q2021 result before tax of €1,463 million; capital position remains strong at 15.5%

Net interest income up on 4Q2020, supported by the benefit from TLTRO III, which more than offset liability margin pressure.

Robust growth in fee income of 9.1% year-on-year, especially on investment products.

1Q2021 had a low level of risk costs. Expenses were under control, but included some incidental costs due to restructuring.

Lending and customer deposits increase

Net core lending growth of €17.8 billion in 1Q2021 as TLTRO funds were applied to support the economy; net customer deposits grew by €8.1 billion, reflecting ongoing impacts of Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns.

Primary customer base was stable at 13.8 million in 1Q2021, reflecting impacts of the pandemic.

CEO statement

“ING delivered a strong performance in the first quarter of 2021. The sharp rebound in net profit compared to the year-earlier period was driven by a good increase in fee income and lower risk costs,” said ING CEO Steven van Rijswijk.

“Our fee-generating business was boosted by the growth of investment products, particularly in Germany and Belgium. ING’s lending franchise demonstrated its strength in the first quarter, including through our success in converting European Central Bank TLTRO financing into lending to benefit our customers as they continue to deal with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, thereby supporting the recovery. On risk costs, we remain cautious and are taking into account expected delays in credit losses.

“We continued to adapt our business to serve customers better and to ensure we’re focusing on the best growth opportunities for the future. We’re advancing our digital and mobile-first strategy in response to the strong rise in the use of digital channels by our customers. In the Netherlands, this is resulting in a reduction in the number of branches and an increase in the number of service points, for which we’ve taken a restructuring provision. We also announced that we’ll discontinue retail banking activities in Austria and the Czech Republic in order to focus on markets where we can achieve better scale and profitability.

“During the quarter, ING closed a record of more than 50 green deals in a growing number of sectors as clients increasingly focus on making their businesses sustainable and linking their efforts in this area to their financing. With our strong ESG profile, we’re well positioned to support them in these endeavours. This is exemplified by the €10.1 billion revolving credit facility we helped to arrange for AB InBev, the largest-ever sustainability-linked loan.

“Also, to strengthen our focus on becoming a data-driven digital leader in banking, we separated the technology and operations roles at the management board level, appointing a chief technology officer. We also recently welcomed our new ING Group chief risk officer (CRO) and new head of Wholesale Banking (WB) who bring fresh perspectives and diverse backgrounds to our executive and management boards.

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