Dutch banking group ING Group has reported net profit of €1.3bn for the second quarter of 2016, a surge of 261.7% compared to €358m the year ago.

Underlying net profit was €1.41bn, a jump of 26.7% from €1.12bn during the same quarter in 2015. Underlying result before tax soared 25.5% year-on-year to €2.01bn from €1.60bn.

The group's total underlying income increased 9% to €4.54bn from €4.17bn in the prior year.

Operating expenses during the period were €2.23bn, a rise of 0.6% from €2.22bn a year ago.

The group's fully-loaded common equity Tier 1 (CET1) ratio in the second quarter stood at 13.1%.

ING Group CEO Ralph Hamers said: “ING’s Think Forward strategy and customer-first approach continue to generate strong commercial growth and quarterly net profits. During the first six months of 2016, we gained approximately 650,000 new retail customers and around 350,000 customers chose ING as their primary bank. I’m confident that our ability to deliver an outstanding banking experience will allow us to retain and empower our growing customer base in the years ahead.”

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“All of our business segments performed well, contributing to ING Bank’s strong quarterly underlying result before tax of EUR 2,009 million. Loan growth continued at resilient margins, supporting a solid net interest result, despite the low interest rate environment. The pre-tax result also refl ects a much improved quarter in our Financial Markets business, as well as a onetime gain on the sale of Visa shares.

“Operating expenses were under control, consistent with our ongoing cost-containment programmes, and risk costs were low at 39 basis points of average risk-weighted assets. ING Bank’s year-to-date underlying return on IFRS-EU equity was 10.8%, in line with our Ambition 2017 target range,” Hamers added.