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ING Groep (ING) Stock Gains on French Retail Banking Exit

·3-min read

Shares of ING Groep N.V. ING have gained 2.8% following the announcement that it is leaving the retail banking market in France. In connection with this, the company is expected to book a restructuring provision in fourth-quarter 2021.

ING Groep’s decision to exit French retail banking follows the strategic review announced this June. Per the review, ING Groep will continue with its wholesale banking activities in France, while focusing on strengthening its position and becoming the go-to-bank for sustainable finance.

A social plan has been agreed upon with the local union, according to which nearly 460 employees will be affected. The plan is, however, subject to approval by the French Ministry of Labour.

Aris Bogdaneris, member of the management board banking and head of retail banking and challengers & growth markets, stated, “We continuously evaluate our activities, including assessing whether they are likely to achieve the preferred scale in their market within a reasonable time frame. 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.”

As an online bank, ING Groep has remained active in the retail banking markets in France since 2000. ING France currently serves 1 million customers, offering current accounts, mortgages, consumer lending and investment products. It has around 700 total employees, of which two-thirds work in retail banking.

The company has been working to explore the feasibility of an agreement for its client portfolio with third parties. But since the discussions are still going on, no details have been shared yet.

ING Groep said that it would ensure that its clients are fully supported by continuing to provide them with all banking services.

Over the past year, shares of ING Groep have gained 44% compared with 9.1% growth of the industry.

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Currently, ING Groep carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A few better-ranked stocks from the same space are Banco Santander, S.A. SAN, Credit Suisse Group AG CS and The Bank of Nova Scotia BNS. Each of these companies currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Banco Santander’s current-year earnings estimates have been revised upward by 6% over the past 60 days. Its shares have gained 4% so far this year.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Credit Suisse’s 2021 earnings has been revised 15.9% upward over the past 60 days. Its shares have depreciated 25.6% year to date.

Bank of Nova Scotia’s current fiscal-year earnings estimates have been revised upward by 7.1% over the past 60 days. Its shares have gained 27.8% so far this year.

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