After the U.S., Canada, France, Spain and Australia, ING, Holland’s giant banking and insurance group, has brought its one-stop bank, ING Direct, to Italy. The opening is the latest in ING’s efforts to build a global banking system based “direct (non-branch) distribution and e-business.”
“ING Direct foresees a bright future for itself in Italy,” said the announcement. “The Italian market is one of the most attractive in Europe with a savings rate of 18%. It is the first direct bank in Italy that focuses exclusively on the retail market with transparent products.”
With operations centered at its Milan headquarters, which also features a café, ING Direct will serve clients throughout Italy by telephone and Internet connections. Its first offering is “the Conto Arancio,” the “Orange Savings Account,” which pays a 5.3 percent interest rate. In the future it plans to offer insurance and asset management products to ING Direct clients.
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