ING prepares to close the last accounts of its retail customers

The online bank has announced that it will close the last bank accounts of its French retail customers on December 31, 2022. ING will now concentrate on the corporate segment.

One million French people affected

Accounts opened with the Dutch banking group that had not already been closed or automatically transferred were partly transferred to another bank. This decision was taken following the closure of the bank's operations in France since the 2000s.

While for some customers, the transfer went smoothly, enabling them to benefit from a welcome bonus at Boursorama Banque if they opted for this replacement establishment, for those who do not wish to choose this bank, the situation is complicated. Several users have complained that they didn't have time to take the necessary steps with another structure.

The Société Générale subsidiary hopes to win back half of ING's 500,000 active customers, including those with life insurance. To win them over, it is banking on a simplified subscription process. Nearly 315,000 people have already decided to switch to Boursorama.

3,000 ING accounts still open

In mid-December, ING claimed to have closed 97% of its accounts. To date, only 3,000 accounts remain open. Despite several reminders, some customers have still not come forward to recover their money. If they do not do so by the end of the year, the bank will place their money in a suspense account. This type of account is normally used by banks in the event of a customer's death, while waiting for the family to come and collect the assets.

" In 90% of cases, there are less than 100 euros in these customers' accounts," Frédéric Niel, head of the online bank in France, told Les Echos newspaper.

Although the sums held in the suspense accounts are small overall, there is currently no deadline for recovering the funds. ING will continue to make regular contact with customers holding these accounts.

ING's latest retail customers in France are mainly people in financial difficulty who have no other bank account.

" When you get to the end of such a complex process, there are just a few special cases that need to be dealt with on a customized basis ," says Frédéric Niel.

Developing the corporate market

ING's decision to withdraw from the retail market in France, but also in Austria and the Czech Republic, does not mean that it is now limiting itself to the Dutch market. Indeed, the online bank is planning to develop its offer for professionals.

" We will consolidate where we are profitable," ING said earlier this year.

At the same time, ING will continue to manage existing consumer credit and home loans until they reach maturity. To this end, it has created a dedicated team of around thirty people.