Photo: MARC HERREMANS – MEDIENHAUS
ING Bank plans to close 62 of its 552 branches next year, more than one in ten. No jobs would be lost. ING announced this on Tuesday. In three years the number of ING branches will have decreased by a quarter.
The decision is made because more and more customers are processing their banking transactions digitally. That trend was accelerated by the corona pandemic, ING says. For example, the number of Belgian visitors to ING’s mobile platform in the first nine months of this year was almost a quarter higher (23 percent) than in the same period last year.
The branches that are closed are all ING’s own branches. These are offices where “a limited number of customer interactions” took place prior to the corona outbreak. “The affected employees will be offered a job at ING. No job losses are expected as a result of this announcement,” the bank said in a press release.
The clients of these offices are digitally notified by consultants from nearby offices.
The dismantling of the office network has been in progress for some time. At the end of 2018 ING still had 654 branches, a year later there were 616. This year this number fell further to 552, so that there will be 490 branches left by the end of 2021. That is a quarter less than at the end of 2018.
Incidentally, the development is underway at almost all banks. According to the Febelfin banking association, there were 4,692 bank branches in Belgium last year, around 40 percent fewer than 7,977 in 2009.