- Title: Dutch bank ING announces plans to shed over 3,000 jobs in Belgium
- Date: 3rd October 2016
- Summary: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (OCTOBER 3, 2016) (REUTERS) BELGIAN FLAG OUTSIDE ING BELGIUM HEADQUARTERS ING SIGN OUTSIDE ING BELGIUM HEADQUARTERS PEOPLE ENTERING ING HEADQUARTERS MEN SMOKING OUTSIDE ENTRANCE TO ING BELGIUM HEADQUARTERS WOMAN LEAVING ING HEADQUARTERS GROUP OF PEOPLE LEAVING ING HEADQUARTERS ING BELGIUM HEADQUARTERS FLAG BEARING ING LOGO FLYING OUTSIDE ING BELGIUM HEADQUARTERS
- Embargoed: 18th October 2016 15:56
- Keywords: Belgium ING Groep layoff bank banking industry Netherlands
- Location: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- City: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- Country: Belgium
- Topics: Company News Markets,Economic Events
- Reuters ID: LVA00252GBYO7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Dutch bank ING informed on Monday (October 3) Belgian unions of its plans to cut a third of its 8,500 jobs in Belgium and close half of its branches in the country.
Globally, ING Belgium's mother company ING Groep plans to shed 7,000 jobs and invest in its digital platforms to make annual savings of 900 million euros by 2021, drawing swift criticism from unions.
"We just found out that ING Bank clearly intends to cut more than 3,150 jobs in Belgium. I do not know whether (ING subsidiary) Record Bank will also be affected. I must still check. It's a catastrophe for employment. The approach was outrageous. A company that makes billions in profits destroyed more than 3,000 jobs today," representative for Christian Union ACV banken, Herman Vanderhaegen said after meeting the company's management.
Although other large banks have announced mass layoffs at branch offices in the past year to boost profitability, ING said the job cuts were partly to combine technology platforms and risk control centres as well to help it to contend with regulatory burdens and low interest rates.
"We have announced a maximum 1,700 compulsory redundancies. We will speak with the social partners around the table. We want to do it in the correct fashion. We will provide money for that. We want to sit down with the social partners to see if we can reduce the number of layoffs," ING Belgium Chief Executive Officer Rik Vandenberghe said.
Representative for union LBC Christelijke Vakbond Marc Sluys called for a strike to take place on Friday (October 7).
"We do not accept this. A company that makes so much profit and puts so many people on the street, this is simply unacceptable. That's why we think everybody should support us in our call to stop work (strike), in order to send a strong signal to the management," Sluys said.
The layoffs represent slightly less than 12 percent of ING's 52,000 workforce because nearly 1,000 are expected to come at suppliers rather than the bank itself.
But they are the heaviest since 2009, when ING was forced to restructure and spin off its insurance activities after receiving a state bailout during the financial crisis.
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