ING to cut more jobs in efficiency drive

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ING, the Dutch bank, has cut its workforce once again, announcing up to 500 redundancies on top the 450 jobs cut in July as it seeks further efficiencies in its crowded core market.

Like the earlier cuts, the company said the latest streamlining - which also includes outsourcing about 2,200 positions to new suppliers - was part of an ongoing efficiency programme at its operations and IT banking activities in the Benelux region.

“Both sourcing and streamlining fit in with ING’s strategy of continually looking for ways to reduce costs and improve efficiency to preserve its competitve position, particularly in the mature Benelux market,” said Eli Leenaars, the head of ING’s operations and IT and retail banking divsions.

As well as internal cuts, ING said it would not renew the contracts of about 1,400 external full time employees in addition to the 550 already announced.

The company said it hoped that its cost-cutting measures to date would increase with time to annualised cost savings of about €190m by 2008, although it added that it would incur a one-off hit of €120m within that period.

These figures come on top of the €39m of annual cost savings and €57m of non-recurring costs already estimated as the result of July’s initiative.

The shares were up less than one per cent at €24.21 in mid-afternoon trade.

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