Dutch multinational lender ING has announced its intend to withdraw from retail banking sector in the Czech Republic by the end of this year.

Despite exiting the retail sector, ING will continue to provide wholesale banking and product services in the country.

ING also entered into an agreement with Raiffeisenbank under which the latter will issue welcome offer to ING’s customers beginning March.

Under this welcome offer, ING customers will be given the option to shift their savings and investments to Raiffeisenbank based on preferential conditions.

The agreement with Raiffeisenbank is, however, yet to receive regulatory approval.

ING has been active in the country’s retail banking sector for almost two decades, offering savings accounts and mutual funds. Currently, it has around 375,000 retail customers in the country.

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The company’s Czech Republic retail banking operations employs around 225 FTE.

Its exit plan is expected to put the jobs at risk. The bank assured that it will support its employees in finding employment outside the bank.

ING Group member of management board banking and head of challenges and growth Aris Bogdaneris said: “We continuously evaluate our activities, including assessing whether they are likely to achieve the preferred scale in their market within a reasonable time frame.

“In this context, we have decided to exit the Czech retail market, sharpening the focus of our business portfolio. We are confident that our customers are well -served by the attractive offer from Raiffeisenbank, which has a proven customer-centric and digital track record.”

ING is the Netherlands based multinational bank with a strong presence in Europe. It serves more than 39 million retail and wholesale customers in over 40 countries.