ING was founded in 1991 by a merger between Nationale-Nederlanden and NMB Postbank Group. During the past years ING has become a multinational with diverse international activities.
The roots of ING can be traced to the insurers De Nationale Levensverzekering Bank and De Nederlanden van 1845 and to the public bank services such as De Rijkspostspaarbank and De Postcheque- and Girodienst, as well as to the Nederlandsche Middenstands Bank. These are the legal predecessors of the ‘founding fathers’ of ING: Nationale-Nederlanden and NMB Postbank Group.
The founding of ING as one company was started in 1990 when the legal restrictions on mergers between insurers and banks were lifted in the Netherlands. This prompted insurance company Nationale-Nederlanden and banking company NMB Postbank Groep to enter into negotiations. The merger into Internationale Nederlanden Groep took place in 1991. The market soon abbreviated the name to I-N-G. The company followed suit by changing the statutory name to ING Groep N.V. Since 1991, ING has developed from a Dutch company with some international business to a multinational with Dutch roots. This was achieved through a mixture of organic growth, such as the creation of ING Direct from scratch, as well as various large acquisitions.
The first large acquisition took place in 1995, when ING took over Barings Bank. This acquisition increased the brand recognition of ING around the world and strengthened its wholesale banking presence in the emerging markets. And then there was Life of Georgia. This insurance company was acquired by Nationale-Nederlanden in 1979, resulting in a significant increase in activities in the US. Via Life of Georgia, the activities in Asia expanded considerably. However in 2004, ING as a group had become well-established in both regions and Life of Georgia was sold.
Other acquisitions, such as the Belgian Bank Brussels Lambert, strengthened the Group’s presence in the Benelux. In addition, the activities in the United States were doubled as a result of organic growth and the acquisition of Equitable of Iowa, ReliaStar, Aetna Financial Services and merchant bank Furman Selz.
ING is also active in other parts of the world. In 2001, ING acquired a majority interest in the Polish Bank Śląski and entered the Indian life insurance market through ING Vysya Life Insurance.
Furthermore, ING participates in a number of financial institutions. An important example is the partnership with the Bank of Beijing.