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Dutch bank ING posts first quarter profit fall

Dutch bank ING posts first quarter profit fall

Leading Dutch bank ING said Wednesday its first quarter net profit fell 9.1 percent, but the drop was due to last year’s sale of its stake in Dutch insurer NN.

Net profits for the first three months of 2017 came in at 1.14 billion euros ($1.24 billion), compared to 1.26 billion euros over the same period last year which had included 506 million euros from the sale of NN, the bank said in a statement.

The Amsterdam-based bank is the country’s leading lender and turnover from January to March reached 4.40 billion euros, up some 7.6 percent.

ING, which employs some 51,000 people in more than 40 countries, said in October about 7,000 jobs mainly in The Netherlands and Belgium were on the line as part of a five-year restructuring plan aimed at making 900 million euros in annual savings.

“ING had a strong first quarter supported by continued commercial growth,” said chief executive Ralph Hamers, stressing the bank continued to innovate across all sectors to make them “a digital banking leader”.

ING was bailed out to the tune of 10 billion euros in 2008 after the global financial crisis struck, and the European Commission obliged it to exit the insurance business.

ING paid off the 10 billion euros plus interest it owed the Dutch government in November 2014, well ahead of time.