Dutch ING declares first dividend since 2008 crisis

11th February 2015, Comments 0 comments

Leading Dutch bank ING said Wednesday it planned paying a dividend for the first time since getting a state bailout in 2008, despite posting a 64 percent drop in net profit for 2014.

The bank will pay out a final 2014 dividend of 12 euro cents per share, for a total of 470 million euros ($531 million), it said in a statement, adding that the plan was subject to shareholders' approval at a annual general meeting in May.

The Amsterdam-based group posted a net profit for 2014 of 1.251 billion euros, a 64 percent drop from 3.545 billion euros the year before.

ING underwent extensive restructuring after receiving a 10 billion euro rescue package from the Dutch government in October 2008 during the height of the banking crisis.

It sold off a US-based retail bank and its insurance businesses in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Latin America and Asia as it sought to pay back the loan, plus 3.0 billion euros in interest.

ING finished paying back the state loan in November last year, months ahead of a May 2015 deadline.

As a result, ING chief executive Ralph Hamers called 2014 a "successful and important year" for ING.

"We repaid the Dutch state ahead of schedule and moved closer to our restructuring plan," Hamers said in the statement, adding: "I am delighted to announce the reinstatement of dividend payments."


© 2015 AFP

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