“The Covid-19 pandemic continued in the second quarter to strongly impact the economies where we operate and how we conducted our own business,” said Steven van Rijswijk, CEO of ING Group. “Against this backdrop we saw continued strong net interest income. Fee income from brokerage services in our German retail operation was higher, and in Wholesale Banking income was up due to increased client demand for Financial Markets services. We maintained good operational cost control and primary customer relationships grew, demonstrating the strength of our digital business model, which enhances customer experience and supports a better cost infrastructure. This led to a resilient pre-provision result. The impact of Covid-19 was reflected in the higher risk provisioning and goodwill impairments we booked in the second quarter. We remain strongly capitalised with a CET1 ratio of 15%.
“At the same time, we supported customers and employees in dealing with the disruption from the crisis, played a positive role in the communities where we’re active and further enhanced our digital and mobile-first banking proposition. I’m very proud of the way our people and organisation are supporting our customers. I’m honoured to be ING’s new CEO and excited to lead this committed organisation.
“Our digitisation strategy is showing its worth. We continued to make banking easier and safer for customers and enabled our employees to work more effectively from home. In Poland, for example, customers requesting a bank card can immediately start using a digital card for mobile payments. In the Netherlands and Belgium, we’re successfully using new channels like video calls to advise customers as an alternative to face-to-face contact. Around three-quarters of ING’s employees worldwide continue to work from home. We support them with tools and guidance to create an optimal remote working environment.
"To provide customers everywhere with the same easy, smart and personal customer experience, we welcomed Belgian customers to the OneWeb banking environment shared with our Dutch customers, and we’re also introducing our awardwinning OneApp mobile environment used in the Netherlands and Germany. ING is the first bank in Germany to offer loans to businesses who sell through Amazon’s seller portal. And SME clients can now also access the digital lending solution of fintech Lendico via our German banking platform.
“In the second quarter we continued our work to become even more effective gatekeepers of the financial system. We set up a special Covid-19 taskforce to monitor transactions to protect customers from fraud. In our ongoing Know Your Customer (KYC) efforts we continued to improve customer due diligence files and rolled out enhanced tools in various countries to improve pretransaction screening and transaction monitoring.
“We also assisted communities through the many actions of our local businesses, such as donations of materials and funds. And ING will help fund UNICEF’s efforts to aid the world’s most vulnerable children and their caregivers. In keeping with our commitment to finance a low-carbon society, we grew our sustainable finance franchise in the second quarter. This included a US$1 billion green bond issued by ING to fund loans for renewable energy and green buildings.
“I’m confident about ING’s strength and resilience in these challenging times, and I believe that our strategic direction is the right one to guide us in the future.”