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ING's Q2 net result inches up YOY; CEO sees pressure on net interest income

The Netherlands-based ING Groep NV's second-quarter consolidated group net result came in at €1.44 billion, compared with €1.43 billion in the same period in 2018.

"Higher volumes and resilient lending margins supported earnings despite the ongoing low interest rate environment," CEO Ralph Hamers said, but added that he expected persistently low interest rates to put pressure on the net interest income.

Net result per share stood at 37 cents, unchanged from the year-ago period, while the underlying net result for the quarter fell slightly by 0.3% year over year to €1.44 billion.

Net interest income amounted to €3.47 billion, compared to €3.44 billion in the year-ago period. Net fee and commission income stood at €711 million, down from €717 million in the previous-year quarter. Investment income dropped 34.2% year over year to €25 million from €38 million.

Addition to loan loss provisions, including write-offs and recoveries on loans and receivables not included in the stock of provision for loan losses, came in at €209 million, compared with €115 million in the second quarter a year ago.

For the first half, the group's net result was €2.56 billion, down from the year-ago €2.65 billion, while the net result per share fell year over year to 66 cents from 68 cents.

Hamers said that file enhancement and transaction look-back operations resulted in improved reporting of suspicious or unusual activity to authorities in various countries, and the company's increased focus on the know-your-customer program and efforts to streamline its operations led to an increased number of accounts being closed.

Following an instruction by Italy's central bank to refrain from conducting any business with new clients in the country, the local unit has agreed to take the action during further discussions with Banca D'Italia SpA. The group will continue to serve existing clients, and is working to address shortcomings and issues identified.

At the end of June, ING's common equity Tier 1 ratio stood at 14.5%, compared to 14.7% at March-end and 14.1% at the end of June 2018.

The Dutch bank has declared an interim cash dividend of 24 cents per ordinary share for the first half, unchanged from a year ago.