Amsterdam-based ING on Wednesday, August 11, released second-quarter earnings, posting a $1.7 billion net profit for the company, beating analyst estimates of $878 million.
The banking sector reported underlying pre-tax profit of $2.07 billion, a $1.8 billion increase over the second quarter of 2009. Last quarter, the banking sector reported underlying profit of $1.6 billion.
According to the company, volume growth and less severe negative markets led to an increase in income. Furthermore, the cost/income ratio improved to 52.6%.
ING’s insurance division lost $148 million in underlying pretax profit. ING must sell its insurance division as a condition of a government bailout in October 2008, The New York Times reports.
“We continue to work towards the operational separation of our Banking and Insurance operations, with the aim to have the businesses operating on an arm’s-length, stand-alone basis by the end of this year,” Jan Hommen, CEO of ING Group, said in a statement.
“Sovereign risk concerns, combined with fear of a ‘double dip’ scenario, had a significant impact on interbank markets in the euro area as well as on equity markets worldwide,” according to Hommen. “The sharp decline in equity markets in the quarter severely impacted the results of our US insurance operations. However, the bank continued to benefit from its strong liquidity and funding profile, with lending growth funded entirely by customer deposits, and refinancing of long-term funding already completed for the year.”