- Omni-channel approach to create consistent customer service
- Investment of EUR 200 million to further simplify and automate IT systems and processes
- Measures to result in reduction of ING’s Dutch workforce by 1,700 FTEs over a three-year period and a pre-tax provision of around EUR 320 million in 4Q14
- Expected annual gross savings of around EUR 270 million from 2018 onwards
In order to improve the customer experience and enhance operational excellence, ING will take measures to further expand digital banking, strengthen local advisory capabilities in the branch network and to make additional IT investments in its Dutch retail banking unit. These measures follow earlier initiatives in 2011 and 2012. The steps announced today will result in a workforce reduction and will lead to significant cost savings in the coming years.
Ralph Hamers, CEO of ING Group said: “In today’s digital world, change is a constant factor. Customers are using a range of channels for their banking needs. They expect to do their banking the way they want, when they want and in a consistent, reliable, clear and easy way. In this environment we need to continuously improve our service. 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. Unfortunately, the more efficient way of working will impact many of our employees. We will do our utmost to build on our track record of helping the employees affected to find new job opportunities.”
Currently, ING uses different IT systems for mobile app, website, call centre and branches. As a consequence, not all customer information is readily available in each channel. By moving to an omni-channel approach, customers can do all their banking digitally and the information will be available across all channels to provide a better, more seamless service. In addition, ING continues to invest in local advisory capabilities by making the expertise in branches more accessible via ING’s other service channels. As a result of these changes, customers can be offered more relevant, timely, and pro-active service and advice.
To support the omni-channel approach and to increase the reliability, efficiency and agility of its IT systems and operations in the Netherlands, ING will make further IT investments. These investments, which will lead to a more simplified IT landscape with standardised IT systems and highly automated processes will amount to a total of approximately EUR 200 million from 2015 to 2017. Total structural gross cost savings in addition to the existing running programs amount to approximately EUR 270 mln.
The further digitisation of ING’s banking services, the reduction of IT systems to be managed and the increased number of automated processes is expected to result in a further reduction of ING’s workforce in the Netherlands by around 1,700 FTEs over the next three years, mostly at the headquarters of ING Retail Banking and in the back offices, call centres and IT departments. For this, a pre-tax redundancy provision of EUR 320 million will be booked in the fourth quarter of 2014. In addition, ING will reduce the number of positions employed by external suppliers by 1,075.