Barclays buys ING Direct
The deal involves the acquisition of a £10.9bn deposit book and a mortgage book with outstanding balances of £5.6bn.
The mortgage book had a loan to value ratio of 50% as at 31 August 2012 and is being acquired at an approximate 3% discount.
Approximately 750 ING Direct UK employees and 1.5 million customers will transfer to Barclays on completion of the transaction.
Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “Woolwich, the Barclays mortgage brand, has led the way in the mortgage market for a number of years with product innovation, service and pricing.
“ING is a relatively new lender but like Woolwich has made a good impression and the acquisition creates a more powerful mortgage offering. Critics may point to more power to one of the big boys in the market and less consumer choice but there remains plenty of other lenders out there in what is still an under-supplied market.”
Ben Thompson, managing director of Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: “ING Direct have provided some much needed new lending into the UK mortgage market over the last few years. At times its pricing was so strong it caused some healthy competition which will have benefitted many fortunate borrowers.
“However Barclays has also provided some excellent new lending into the UK mortgage market and through the downturn has become one of the top players in this sector. The hope has to be that this transaction will bring about more benefits for borrowers and the industry as a whole – the market and consumers need more competition and mortgage availability.”
Barclays’ decision follows the announcement by ING on 2 August 2012 of a review of its strategic options for the ING Direct UK business and its subsequent decision to exit the UK retail banking market.
The bank intends to integrate the ING Direct UK business into its UK Retail and Business Banking division.
Until integration Barclays will continue to use ING Direct UK’s operations and platforms to service existing customers.
Completion is subject, amongst other things, to regulatory approval and is expected to occur early in quarter 2, 2013.