Dutch bank ING announced it will leave the retail banking sector in the Philippines this year to focus more on its wholesale business and sustainable finance.
On Friday, June 24, ING said it will exit the local banking market before the end of 2022 but will continue to invest in wholesale banking in the global shared services operations. The bank said it will no longer pursue plans to expand retail services in the region due to market instability. ING has done similar exit moves in other countries since 2021.
ING country head, Hans Sicat, said they will maintain a 30-year strong banking partnerships in the Philippines. The bank’s clients include the country’s largest corporations and financial institutions. “We are proud of our leading positions in M&A (mergers and acquisitions) corporate advisory and capital markets,” he said.
Sicat also said that ING “will continue to invest in growing our wholesale banking business to strengthen our position in the country, and we have plans to increase our focus on sustainable finance.” He added that the bank’s “high-profile hires are steps in this direction.”
“We hope to take advantage of the growth prospects in various sectors like renewable energy, technology, media (and) telecommunications, infrastructure, financial institutions, among others,” Sicat said.
ING’s retail banking was launched here in 2018 and was supposed to be a “foundation” for its retail banking plan for the region. But global uncertainties has forced the Dutch bank to “re-assess” its plan, and eventually to shelve it.
Presently, the bank has 380,000 customers on the retail banking side. It is maintaining 120 employees in both the retail and wholesale operations.
ING has assured its retail customers that they “need not do anything now as there is no change to their accounts.”
“They can continue to access their funds and accounts anytime and their money remains safe and secure. They will be notified soon and can visit www.ing.com.ph for more information,” said ING.
Last month, the bank announced the appointment of veteran banker, Jun Palanca, as head of its wholesale banking business.
Palanca said previously that the country’s economic recovery is in full swing and the momentum will bode well for the wholesale banking market. “(There’s a) huge potential for our clients and we are committed to work hand-in-hand with them to tap into the market opportunities,” he said.
“(There’s a) huge potential for our clients and we are committed to work hand-in-hand with them to tap into the market opportunities,” he said.