Dutch financial services firm ING is leaving behind its French retail banking operations, a decision that may impact 460 workers, according to a Tuesday (Dec. 21) press release.
ING is continuing talks with other companies about its retail portfolio in France — SocGen, Credit Agricole and Credit Mutuel among them — Reuters reported.
“We continuously evaluate our activities, including assessing whether they are likely to achieve the preferred scale in their market within a reasonable time frame,” said Aris Bogdaneris, member of the Management Board Banking, head of Retail Banking and Challengers & Growth Markets, in a press release. “In this context we have decided to exit the French retail market, sharpening the focus of our business portfolio on where we can better scale.”
The move won’t affect ING’s wholesale banking business, according to the release. The company has 700 employees in France, and two-thirds of them work in retail banking.
“ING’s staff in France has been informed today of the outcome of the strategic review,” the release stated. “A social plan concerning our 460 employees affected has been agreed on with local unions. The social plan is subject to approval of the French Ministry of Labour.”
The Amsterdam-based company said in the release this shift away from the French retail banking market will lead to a restructuring provision in its 2021 fourth quarter results.
ING has been active in the French retail banking market since 2000 as an online bank, according to the release. ING France currently serves around 1 million customers and offers current accounts, mortgages, consumer lending and investment products.
Last year, ING Chief Information Security Officer Beate Zwijnenberg told PYMNTS about the bank’s use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in its cybersecurity measures.
Read more: ING on the Use of AI and ML in Financial Crime Prevention
“The real-time aspect of online fraud means that you need to intervene immediately because otherwise, the money is transferred and it’s gone for good,” Zwijnenberg said at the time. “So, the real-time element [of AI] is quite important.”