Page last updated at 19:26 GMT, Sunday, 19 October 2008 20:26 UK

ING to get Netherlands cash boost

Executive Board of ING Group chairman Michel Tilman

Dutch banking and insurance company ING is to receive a 10bn euro ($13.4bn; 7.7bn) government cash injection.

The deal was agreed with the finance ministry and the central bank, which will give the government shares in ING.

The government will make at least 8.5% interest per share. The bank has said it expects to make a 500m euro ($670m; 387m) third-quarter loss.

The government is to make 20bn euros available to protect the financial sector from the credit crisis.

ING is one of the world's largest banks, with more than 85 million customers worldwide, according to its website.

The bank has some 338bn euros in saving and current account deposits, Reuters news agency says, and offers banking, insurance, asset management, leasing and real estate services.

Dividends suspended

Dutch Finance Minister Wouter Bos said ING needed help because of the global squeeze on credit, but insisted the bank was not in major trouble.

"We have a healthy company that's being trusted by its customers. We just want to give it extra buffers in order to be able to withstand market forces in these extraordinary times," he said.

The government will receive an initial 8.5% interest per share in the bank once ING begins paying dividends, with the level of interest rising the longer the government retains the shares. The bank will be able to buy the shares back for 15 euros per share.

ING said separately it would cancel dividends for the rest of 2008 and review executive pay.

ING has a prominent presence in the UK, with thousands of savers depositing their cash in the group's ING Direct banking service.

ING Direct also took over responsibility for 2.5bn of deposits of 160,000 UK customers with the Icelandic bank Kaupthing Edge - part of Iceland's largest bank, which failed almost two weeks ago.

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