On Monday, 3 October, ING Group - formerly the Netherlands' largest lender and one of the world's largest financial conglomerates - announced plans to cut 7,000 jobs from its ranks of about 52,000 in order to invest in digital platforms that are expected to generate annual savings of 900 million euros ($1 billion) by 2021. Beyond this, what is fascinating about ING is the rare glimpse it gives us into the post-global financial crisis (GFC) dismantling of one of the world's financial behemoths. We have few other case studies - although, oddly enough, ABN Amro does come to mind - where we see the persistent "reverse-conglomeration" of a large and global financial services powerhouse. As a stipulation of the Dutch state-funded capital infusion in the wake of the events surrounding the GFC in 2008-2009, ING Group was essentially forced to sell off numerous businesses in order to maintain or exceed minimum capital ratios. The chart below details the timeline and more than 50 divestitures that have occurred since the GFC. Here [...]
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