AGF Belgium, a member of Germany’s Allianz Group, announced that it will sell its banking Unit to ING Belgium, a subsidiary of the Netherlands’ ING Group “in order to refocus on its core business.” The announcement did not indicate the purchase price.
AGF said it would concentrate on life insurance and property and casualty insurance and plans to “optimise its allocation of capital,” as the sale will “allow AGF Group to reduce by 45 million euros [$ 50.1 million] the capital allocated to the Belgium activities.”
“Until now, AGF Belgium Bank has supported AGF Belgium’s activities by distributing banking products and services through a network of 250 independent agents,” said a company announcement on the Allianz Web site. “As of December 31, 2002 AGF Belgium Bank had savings deposits of 536 million euros [$605.7 million] and 333 million euros [$376.3 million] in outstanding loans, including 268 million euros [$302.85 million] in mortgage loans. The Bank posted a small loss in 2002.”
The bulletin indicated, however, that, although banking products will remain an “integral part of AGF’s strategy, maintaining control of AGF Belgium Bank is no longer warranted. Moreover, AGF Belgium Bank did not have the necessary critical mass.”
AGF stressed that in selling the operation to ING it had chosen “a partner for its banking arm that shares its vision of support to an independent brokerage network and offers a high-quality range of banking services to that network.” The announcement also indicated that “AGF Belgium Bank’s activities will be merged with Record, the second-largest Belgian banking division of the ING Group. As a savings bank, Record does not distribute or promote insurance products.”
The transaction is conditioned upon receipt of the requisite regulatory approvals by Dutch and Belgian authorities.
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