January 31, 2018 / 7:03 AM / 4 months ago

ING quarterly profit misses on costs, weaker financial markets

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - ING Groep NV (INGA.AS), the largest Dutch bank, on Wednesday reported a quarterly underlying pretax profit of 1.56 billion euros (1.37 billion pounds) that fell short of estimates, due to higher tax and investment costs, and a loss at its financial markets division.

The logo of ING bank is seen at the entrance of the group's office in Brussels, Belgium, October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File Photo

Analysts polled by Reuters had seen an underlying pretax profit at 1.67 billion euros for the fourth quarter, compared with 1.96 billion euros in the same period a year ago.

CEO Ralph Hamers said the company had grown its loan book by 6.8 billion euros on higher margins and won half a million new customers.

    “The continued growth of new customers coming to ING shows” the company’s fundamental health, Hamers said.

    The company said costs rose on a mix of higher taxes and increased investments in its digital offerings, as well as higher provisions for bad loans.

    Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier

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