2700 jobs to go at ING despite €1.7 billion quarterly profits
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Banking giant ING has blamed continuing economic uncertainty for its decision to shed nearly 3000 jobs.

The company will lay off the equivalent of 2000 full-time staff and scrap 700 external contracts under a restructuring programme designed to save €300 million.

There was an angry response from trade unions, who pointed to the fact that the banking and insurance firm had just announced quarterly net profits of €1.7 billion, better than analysts were expecting and seven times the figure of a year ago.

But the bank insisted that worsening economic prospects, in particular the slump in the housing market and falling mortgage demand, coupled with tighter regulation in the banking sector, had forced it to act.

Trade unionists said the reorganization plans had hit staff “like a bomb”.
Fred Polhout, of the FNV union, said: “These plans will be very hard for the employees to take.

“It was clear that something was going to happen given the developments in the financial sector. But a reorganization on this scale will make a huge dent in staffing levels at the bank.”

Ike Wiersinga, director of the CNV Dienstenbond union, claimed as many as 1700 of the jobs would be compulsory lay-offs.

“The bank is healthy and is even making billions in profits,” said Wiersinga. “This will have far too great an impact on working practices and will put a strain on the interests of customers.”

ING still has to pay back €3 billion of state support that it received at the height of the 2008 financial crisis.

Economic affairs minister Maxime Verhagen said ING’s action was “painful but necessary”.

He said: “This shows that companies such as ING are having to make very hard decisions to secure their future.”

Source: De Volkskrant: Massa-ontslag bij ING: 2700 voltijdbanen geschrapt
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