Colette Dierick, CEO of ING Luxembourg (on left), speaks during a press conference on its financial performance in 2018, 15 May 2019. Photo: Matic Zorman
ING’s local business unit has posted a record-breaking year, but was slightly downbeat with its 2019 forecast.
The bank reported net operating income of €115m for 2018, an increase of 8% over the previous year. Total revenue was up 6% to €315m.
Costs rose 4% to €157m. Much of the additional expense was driven by compliance with new regulations such as Mifid II, PSD2 and GDPR, according to Colette Dierick, CEO of ING Luxembourg.
“It’s a very good performance in spite of the market situation,” Dierick stated at a press conference on 15 May.
To grow revenue in today’s low interest rate environment, “there is no miracle: more loans need to be issued because they generate weak margins,” Dierick said. The also invested more in IT. For example, last year the bank rolled out a new tool letting customers make withdrawals against their mortgages online.
However, low interest rates are catching up with the bank, meaning executives gave a more measured outlook for 2019. Dierick stated:
“For the past five years they have been terribly low. The perspective is not good. Cost pressure remains and creativity has its limits. It’s impossible for us to have the same results in 2019.”
ING said it had around 130,000 customers, 871 employees and 16 branches in the grand duchy.