ING has posted an underlying net profit of
€3.67bn ($4.86) for the 12 months to 31 December, up 15.1% from the
year ago period.
Results were less positive at ING’s banking
unit: underlying net profit fell by 20.2% to €3.38bn (2010:
Underlying net profit at ING Direct declined
even more sharply, by 34% in fiscal 2011 to €649m.
ING Direct’s troubled UK unit again
disappointed: in fiscal 2011, it posted an underlying net loss of
€46m, up 28% from the year ago period.
ING Direct UK has now lost an accumulated
€321m since it was established in 2003.
Funds entrusted at the UK unit of ING Direct
again declined, by 7% in 2011 to €13.9bn: in 2003 UK funds
entrusted peaked at €36.3bn.
More positively, ING reported strong mortgage
growth at its UK unit: mortgage funds advanced more than doubled in
2011 to €5.8bn.
By contrast, the Germany/Austria business unit
of ING Direct powered ahead. Underlying net profit for fiscal 2011
soared by 31% year-on-year to €579m.
Funds entrusted in Germany/Austria also
increased sharply, by 7% to €87.6bn.
Group wide, ING’s banking unit came under
fresh margin pressure; the net interest margin in 2011 fell by 5
basis points to 142 basis points.
ING’s retail banking unit cost-income ratio
also came under pressure, increasing by 4.7 percentage points to
Group wide, ING’s total assets increased in
fiscal 2011 by 2.4% to €1.28trn.
CEO of ING Group, Jan Hommen, said:
“The economic environment became more
challenging in the fourth quarter of 2011. The financial crisis
spread further into the real economy, and uncertainty around the
European sovereign debt crisis continued to erode confidence and
amplify market volatility.
“Despite this challenging backdrop and its
inevitable impact on results, ING posted 15.1% higher full-year
underlying earnings in 2011 compared with 2010.”
Hommen added that during the fourth quarter,
income at the Bank was “affected by losses related to further
de-risking of the investment portfolio, as well as re-impairments
on Greek government bonds and other market impacts”.