ING CEO's negative interest savings account threats anger customers

ING customers are furious by the prospect of their bank maybe charging negative interest on their savings accounts. CEO Ralph Hamers mentioned this as an option to cushion the blow should the European Central Bank decide to cut interest rates again, RTL Z reports.

ECB CEO Mario Draghi recently hinted that there may be a further reduction in interest rates. ING chief Ralph Hamers thinks this is a terrible idea, he said in a call with analysts. If that happens, ING will have to compensate for it somehow. One of the options he mentioned is negative interest on savings accounts - which means that customers will have to pay interest on their savings, instead on earning it. Another option is to charge banking fees for banking matters customers arrange online.

Both these options led to a flood of angry reactions from ING customers on Facebook and Twitter. Many threatened to close their accounts at the bank. "If that is the case ING, I will take my savings away from you. And if I have to pay extra for banking matters that I have to carry out myself, I will also take my checking account with me. I am not a dairy cow and do not want to be treated like one", one customer said on Twitter.

Many pointed out that banks already have lower costs thanks to physical banks closing due to internet banking. Others suggested that ING compensate for possible lower interest rates by cutting Hamers' salary.