ING to close 40 branches

The Dutch bank ING is to close 40 of its 773 Belgian branches. Most of the branches that are to close are in Brussels and Wallonia. The bank says that it has too many branches and that a growing number of its customers are using internet banking services.

It is still unclear how many jobs will be lost as a result of the branch closures. It is even possible that no jobs will be lost and that employees at the branches that are to close will be simply transferred to another branch or retrained.

For example, counter staff could be retrained to become insurance advisors.

The branch closures are separate from the bank’s on-going programme of reducing its workforce by a couple of hundred each year. This is achieved by natural wastage.

The bank will give details of how many (if any) jobs will be lost as a result of the branch closures at the end of March 2013.