Online bank ING France closes hundreds of thousands of accounts

Online bank ING France has closed hundreds of thousands of accounts, affecting at least 300,000 people. A consumer association accused him of wanting to “get rid” of the lowest-paying accounts.

Accounts appeared to have “automatically” closed since early January 2022.

ING France announced the closure of its retail banking activity on December 21, 21 years after its arrival on the market. It had first announced that it was completing “a strategic review” of its retail banking business in June.

As a result, it is preparing to sell its retail activity to other banks, such as Société Générale (its subsidiary Boursorama), or Crédit Mutuel Arkéa, for its online bank Fortunéo.

Yet consumer banking association Conso banque said ING France had closed 30-40% of its small inactive accounts because “the future buyer doesn’t want it”.

The president of the association, Michel Guillaud, declared that ING was “cleaning up”. He said FranceInfo“They want to get rid of people they don’t consider profitable, and who are ‘dead weight'”.

The association has just helped set up a defense commission which will sue the bank and its notice of closure of accounts. “People are furious,” Mr. Guillaud said.

The group also created a Facebook group for the persons concerned, referred to as “ING Orphans”, to help support and inform people about their rights.

It is legal for a bank to be able to close accounts, but only “for just cause”, in the same way that companies must have just cause for dismissal.

The association claims that the company’s actions do not meet this condition.

Before 2022, ING France had approximately one million customers. Of the group’s 700 employees in France, two-thirds work in its retail banking business.

In A press releaseING specifies that “a social plan concerning our 460 employees concerned has been agreed with the local unions”.

He also said he would “ensure that our customers are fully supported”, that he would “continue to provide all banking services” and that he would “inform our customers individually of developments”.

Globally, ING Bank has over 38.4 million customers and 57,000 employees.

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David A. Albanese