Huge profit windfall for ING

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Netherlands-based financial services group ING announced a net profit in the second quarter of €1.07 billion in a statement released Wednesday. The profit represents an increase of 19 percent over the second quarter of 2013, and topples all estimates, the company said.

ING reported a net profit of €895 million in the same period last year.

The sharp growth was caused in large part by restructuring of the ING Group, which included the successful initial public offering (IPO) of Dutch insurer Nationale Nederland (NN). On July 2, ING sold 77 million existing ordinary shares in the public offering of NN, an insurance and investment management subsidiary of ING, raising €2.2 billion in gross proceeds. ING’s ownership in NN has since declined to 68.1 precent, from 100 percent. "We are moving forward as a stronger, simpler and more sustainable company," said ING CEO Ralph Hamers in a statement on the company's website. "I am confident that we are well placed to achieve the strategic priorities of ING Bank while continuing to serve our customers and the communities in which we operate to the best of our ability." Growth was also recorded internationally where net lending rose to €7.4 billion. ING Bank reported increased lending to small and middle-sized firms and house buyers, where their is high demand for complex financial constructions. On the retail side of the company, ING has also seen an increase in its customer base with gains of over half a million new customers during the first six months of 2014.