ING Groep NV plans to lay off 7,000 employees over the next five years


ING Groep NV is looking forward to lay off about 7,000 employees over the next five years, in a bid to limit expenses and accelerate investment in its digital platforms.

The Netherlands’ biggest financial services company expects to save roughly 900 million euros annually through the program that includes nearly 3,500 layoffs in Belgium and about 2,300 in Netherlands. The latest move will affect about 12 percent of the company’s overall employees.

Under the supervision of CEO Ralph Hamers, the Dutch lender is making heavy investments in financial technology to cut personnel and branch expenses. The company also plans to expand its lending operations outside Netherlands.

Low interest rates have put pressure on European banks to limit expenses. For instance, Commerzbank AG recently said that it plans to cut 9,600 jobs by 2019. Deutsche Bank AG is also reportedly planning to lay off nearly 1,000 employees.

ING Groep (ING) shares rose 3.96 percent to $12.34 on Friday. The 52-week range of the stock is $9.26-$14.96. The stock has declined nearly 10 percent so far this year. The company’s market cap is $49.72 billion and P/E ratio is 10.86.