A few weeks ago I mentioned that Ally Bank was considering buying ING Direct, the United States deposit bank arm of the Dutch ING Group. In exchange for a European bailout, ING was forced to agree to sell ING Direct by 2013. As the date nears, more rumors are circulating about the nature of interested buyers.
I’d like to see the bank purchased by a company that would recognize ING Direct’s overall philosophy when it comes to dealing with consumers and mix the philosophy with a higher interest rate product for savers. Consolidation could prove to be bad for consumers who end up with fewer banking choices, but there are enough banks around to keep strong competition among the best online savings accounts.
The latest company to neither confirm nor deny their intent to acquire ING Direct’s deposits is GE Capital. GE Capital deals mainly with business clients, not retail banking customers, so this would be a move into uncharted territory. Compare this with Ally Bank, where a consolidation would probably prove to be smoother from a business perspective, which, down the line, is usually better for the consumer.
According to the CNN video, other interest parties include Capital One and CIT Group. You may remember CIT Group from the recent financial meltdown when the company’s stock was frozen on the New York Stock Exchange and the company soon after filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Who do you think would be the best buyer for ING Direct?
Updated June 17, 2011 and originally published June 10, 2011. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @flexo on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.