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Irish unit 'secure' despite 7,000 job cuts by financial firm ING

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ING has been in Ireland for around 25 years and focuses exclusively on corporate banking here. Photo: Reuters

ING has been in Ireland for around 25 years and focuses exclusively on corporate banking here. Photo: Reuters

ING has been in Ireland for around 25 years and focuses exclusively on corporate banking here. Photo: Reuters

The decision to cut 7,000 jobs from financial services firm ING was from a position of power, its Irish head of client coverage has said.

Maurice Kenny told the Irish Independent that its base here, which employs 45, has overseen more centralised growth over the last seven to eight years and is "very secure".

"The jobs cuts will primarily be in the retail space in the Netherlands and Belgium. What we do in Ireland is purely in the corporate space and won't be impacted by any of the job cuts.

He said ING is "coming from a position of strength in making these job cuts and I would distinguish it from the likes of Commerzbank for example".

The firm, with a 52,000-strong workforce, announced the massive job cuts on Monday in a bid to save €900m per year by 2021. The job losses were met with stiff criticism from unions in the Netherlands.

ING has been in Ireland for around 25 years and focuses exclusively on corporate banking here. The Dundrum-based firm deals with large Irish corporates and large international firms dealing in Ireland.

"It reflects the industry in general, that there's a huge threat from new players in the market, the fintech and other ways of doing your traditional banking so the retail space is the area that's most affected," Mr Kenny said.

The move is part of a major digital shift by the company. ING is investing €800m into its "digital transformation" to help it stay relevant with customers that want to do the majority of their banking online.

ING has a major operation in the UK, however Mr Kenny said it is too early to tell how much business the Irish branch may be inheriting, if anything.

"We're just getting down with what we do. The biggest impact for Irish companies is the weakness in the sterling, particularly in the food and agri space."

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