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.
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