ING Groep N.V. is one of the world's largest banking and insurance companies. It provides banking, investment, life insurance and retirement services. ING stands for Internationale Nederlanden Groep.
The company traces its roots back to 1743 but its future was in question in 2008 when global markets cratered. The Dutch government agreed to a rescue that involved taking over the bank's Alt-A U.S. mortgage portfolio and chief executive Michael Tilman stepping down. The company is now carrying out the rest of the bargain: shedding many of its insurance and investment operations, its U.S. online bank and some Dutch retail banking operations and focusing mainly on its core banking business. It has sold ING Canada and is shopping its private-banking business in Europe and Asia. ING is also trimming 800 jobs and plans to exit from 10 of the 48 countries it operates in. Another cost-cutting measure is paring back its Formula One Racing program.
Its Amsterdam headquarters, ING House, designed by Meyer and Van Schooten Architects, is a streamlined building of anodized aluminium and glass, constructed like a table on 16 legs. Its similarly sleek handful of ING Direct cafes in the U.S. invite visitors to buy a latte, surf the Net for free and take a gratis financial seminar.