ING Bank, which owns UK-based savings bank ING Direct, has been bailed out to the tune of €10 billion by the Dutch government.
The bailout involves ING selling bonds to its government, putting it in a better position to weather the financial downturn. It follows governments around the globe, including the UK and US, increasing capital requirements for banks and injecting them with funding accordingly.
ING Bank insists that the funding injection does not mean it has been nationalised by the Dutch authorities. And it says the funding will strengthen its position and make it a better proposition for depositors and investors.
Its share price was given a boost after the bailout was announced.
The move will have no direct impact on savers, and the financial protection they are currently offered by the Dutch authorities remain unchanged. ING Direct customers in the UK benefit from depositor protection guarantee up to €100,000 (£77,700). This includes 180,200 Kaupthing Edge and Heritable Bank savers, which were transferred to the bank after their Icelandic-owned banks collapsed.
Kaupthing and Heritable savers should now have full access to their accounts. The savings bank, which has taken over 160,000 saving accounts from Kaupthing and 22,200 from Heritable, has been working to clear the backlog of customer withdrawals.
It says that the majority of payments have now been fully credited, although a “small number” requiring manual payment instructions will take longer to process and are still outstanding.
Customers who have been hit by the delays have been assured that they will receive compensation for any loss of interest.
ING Direct says it will be making further announcements regarding CHAPS (Clearing House Automated Payments System) fees and interest adjustments in due course.
A statement on ING Direct’s website reads: “All your savings are safe and are now with ING Direct, the world's leading direct savings bank and part of the ING Group, which is one of the world's largest banks with assets in excess of £1 trillion, and 85 million customers.”
Around 3,000 Kaupthing Edge and 100 Heritable savers have not had their accounts transferred to ING Direct. Like Icesave customers, they are still waiting to hear about compensation.
The UK government has promised all savers hit by the collapse of Icelandic-owned banks that they will receive 100% of their money back.