The EC announced amendments to ING’s 2009 restructuring plan, extending its divestment timeframe while imposing new behavioural commitments. Following negotiations by the European Commission, ING and the Dutch government, the Dutch banking and insurance group will now have until 2015 to divest more than 50 per cent of its insurance operations, and until 2018 to divest the remainder. It also has until 2015 to repay €3 billion owing to the Dutch government in state aid repayments.
In 2008 the Netherlands paid ING, one of the world’s largest financial institutions, €10 billion to help it survive the financial crisis. DG Comp imposed commitments, aimed at protecting the competitiveness of the Dutch retail banking market. But in March the EU General Court ruled that DG Comp’s subsequent restructuring plan and its attempt to impose harsher behavioural commitments on ING was unjustified.