ING Direct USA sold to leading credit card bank

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ING has announced Capital One has plans to buy the US online banking arm of ING for 9 billion US dollars 6.3 billion euros.

The US financial corporation will buy ING Direct USA for about 6.2 billion dollars in cash and 2.8 billion in shares. Amsterdam-based ING will then become the largest single shareholder in Capital One, with a 9.9 percent stake.

The deal will leave Capital One as the fifth-largest depository institution and the leading direct bank in the US. The move is the latest step in Capital One’s strategy to branch out from its credit card lending activities.

The Orange Way ING Direct launched in the United States amid much fanfare in 2000 and, with 7.7 million customers and 2,275 employees, is now the largest online bank in the country. ING Direct distinguishes itself from the more traditional banking values, claiming to embrace a certain way of life termed “The Orange Way”. Challenging the status quo, pace-setting and passion are embedded in their key values, the bank claims.

ING bailout The Dutch banking group has been looking to sell off ING Direct since a restructuring plan was agreed between the bank and the European Commission in 2009. ING needed to raise funds to pay off a ten-billion euro bailout received from the Dutch government in 2008.

ING clarified that the deal would only affect ING Direct USA and not its online banking units in Canada, Europe and Australia.

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