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GE Capital Bank May Buy ING Direct

This article was written by in Banking. 9 comments.


Update: Capital One has purchased ING Direct.

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 bank 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?

Photo: yonathansantana
CNN

Updated March 7, 2014 and originally published June 10, 2011. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar krantcents

GE Capital could be a good choice, if they let ING stand alone and just back it with capital. Online banks are still in their infancy and I am not sure any company fully understands it yet.

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avatar Adam

GE Capital is GE’s financial arm, so they would be fine buying ING Direct.

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avatar vijay

GE Capital has run many retail banking & financial services businesses outside the US. They have also been one of the biggest private label consumer card issuers. I don’t think they will have any problems in running this operation.

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avatar lynn ♦155 (Cent)

I’ve done busness with GE medical division many times. They were always fair and consumer savvy. If they leave ING as it stands and perhaps offer an incentive or two, the purchase could be good for everyone involved.

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avatar skylog ♦368 (Nickel)

i am torn. i am fine in some ways if Ally were to make the move, as they already run a fine site. my concern is that ING will just get swallowed up in that case. more or less disappearing. if GE were to make the purchase, perhaps they would keep ING more or less “untouched.”

it will be interesting to see how this ends up playing out.

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avatar Will @ HackingTheBank.com ♦258 (Nickel)

I don’t want to see ING Direct purchased by Ally because I think those are the two current top-dogs when it comes to online banking right now. I’d much rather have them compete than combine forces. I think GE Capital would be a good buyer for them. I also wouldn’t be opposed to a purchase by Capital One.

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avatar Joe

I hope that the buyer is a consumer centric bank. That means ING needs to buy itself. ESOP maybe?

Please, not GE Capital. I find GE’s Sam’s credit so hard to interact with, I quit using Sam’s credit. On the other hand, if ING management could show GE the way in the consumer banking business – that might work out OK.

ING is fun. GE is sad. ING is bright. GE is drab. ING is responsive. GE is “take or leave.” ING US is profitable. GE – don’t know – was haunting its parent. Hopefully ING’s buyer will be fun, bright, responsive, and profitable. ESOP??

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avatar Evan

I am wondering whether this whole thing will blow over. How does it help anyone to divest a bank of this size…especially to a foreign (to them) company?

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avatar qixx ♦1,890 (Half-Dollar)

Glad these ‘Who will buy ING’ debates are over.

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