Savings: ING closes certain French customer accounts

As it prepares to withdraw from the French market, ING has begun closing the savings accounts of certain customers without their consent. The bank justifies this decision with the low interest rate environment, and asserts that these mass closures of inactive savings accounts are not linked to the current strategic review.

Savings accounts deemed "unprofitable

The online bank ING, whose departure from the French market was made official on December 21, has already begun to sort out its customers. In an interview with Le Parisien newspaper, the bank's management confirms that it has closed the Livrets d'Epargne Orange (LEO) of customers who have no other products.

The bank considers that, with an interest rate of 0.01%, this product, which was the first launched in France by ING in 2000, is " very low-yielding". Thanks to rates higher than those charged by the competition, it nevertheless attracted many savers looking for a return on their liquid assets when it was launched.

Nearly 300,000 ING accounts affected

The wave of closures was spotted by the France Conso Banque association after being alerted by several users concerned by the announcement. In all, nearly 300,000 accounts are expected to be closed. According to France Conso Banque, these closures will affect not only LEO accounts, but also Livrets A savings accounts, information which ING intends to dispute.

The association sees this as ING's desire to " clean up its portfolio of less profitable customers ". For its part, the bank asserts that this decision is not linked to its strategic review or to the future sale of its online activities in France.

The European Central Bank (ECB) applies negative interest rates: sums deposited by banks in the euro zone are taxed at -0. 5%. In other words, they have to pay to deposit money.

Creation of a collective to defend ING customers

France Conso Banque reports that it has launched an "ING orphans" defense group, criticizing the online bank for not respecting a 2-month notice period. However, this period only applies to deposit accounts, which are used for day-to-day money management.


This does not include LEOs, which are simple interest-bearing savings accounts with no associated means of payment. For this type of product, jurisprudence considers that the bank must give its customer " sufficient notice". By giving savers one month's notice, as stipulated in the savings account's general terms and conditions, ING appears to be in line with this requirement.

For their part, rival banks are seizing the opportunity to attract former ING customers with attractive offers. Boursorama Banque, for example, is offering a 130-euro bonus for all account openings.