ING plans direct to SME platform for leasing
ING Bank will release a direct to SME platform for its leasing products this year.
The chief executive officer Ralph Hamers wrote in his statement that Direct Lease, an online leasing platform that will help small and medium-sized enterprises, will be launched this year. The first version of Direct Lease was tested with ING’s clients in the first quarter.
Hamers said: “Our employees submitted over 1,800 ideas during our second annual Innovation Bootcamp, which aims to increase the pace of innovation at ING. The top 20 ideas are now being further developed. The first Innovation Bootcamp in 2014 generated 774 ideas, of which seven received funding and support to be launched commercially. One of them is Direct Lease, an online leasing platform that will help small and medium-sized enterprises at every step of the leasing cycle.”
According to the bank, its lending book experienced “robust growth” as well as a seasonally strong first quarter in the financial markets.
The net production in customer lending (excluding Bank Treasury) was €6.2bn in the first quarter, driven by strong growth in the core lending businesses of €6.9bn, which was partly offset by a €0.7bn reduction in the run-off portfolios of WUB and Lease.
Commercial Banking recorded a strong profit before tax of €739 million, up from €423 million in the first quarter of 2014. Customer lending growth remained solid in both Industry Lending and General Lending & Transaction.
ING’s commercial banking loan book reached €191.3bn by the 31st of March 2015, growing by €14.5bn on the end of 2014 figures.