ING posts 1.2 billion euro third-quarter pretax profit, to cut 1,000 jobs

FILE PHOTO: The logo of ING bank is pictured at the entrance of the group's main office in Brussels, Belgium September 5, 2017. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - ING Groep NV INGA.AS, the largest Dutch bank, on Thursday reported lower-than-expected pre-tax profit of 1.20 billion euros ($1.41 billion) for the third quarter on declining interest income amid the coronavirus pandemic and said it intends to cut 1,000 jobs.

Analysts had forecast pretax profit of 1.26 billion euros, according to a Refinitiv poll. In the third quarter of 2019, ING reported pretax profit of 1.34 billion euros.

Although provisions for bad loans fell from second quarter 2020 levels, ING also took a 140 million euro impairment charge on a project to unify its technology platforms across several countries.

“The pandemic continues to have a significant impact everywhere, with the second wave in Europe and the U.S. putting further pressure on consumers and businesses,” said Chief Executive Officer Steven van Rijswijk.

He described ING’s performance as “resilient” and noted the bank had added more than 200,000 customers in the quarter.

The job cuts will come in ING’s wholesale banking division as it closes offices in South America and some in Asia.

Net interest income fell by 5.7% to 3.33 billion euros, while loan loss provisions were at 469 million euros, up strongly from 2019 levels but well below the 1.34 billion in losses it booked in the second quarter, reflecting the impact of the onset of COVID-19.

Core lending shrank by 6.9 billion euros on a total loan book of 608 billion euros, as corporate borrowers repaid or reduced some of the loan they had drawn down as a protective shield during the pandemic.

($1 = 0.8520 euros)

Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Kim Coghill and Shailesh Kuber