Skip to main content

The exterior of the Dutch bancassurer ING is seen before the presentation of the company's 2010 annual results in Amsterdam in this February 16, 2011 file photo.

JERRY LAMPEN/REUTERS

The sale process for ING Bank Canada has already kicked into high gear, and rival Canadian banks are heavily interested in scooping up their online-focused competitor.

For potential bidders, not only is it rare to see a Canadian rival on the market, but ING's operations here are remarkably safe, according to someone familiar with the sale process. The mortgages on ING's books are insured by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, and its deposits are easy to understand.

But that doesn't mean the business is risk-free as an acquisition target. ING marketed itself over the past decade as an alternative to the Big Six's high retail banking fees, and tried to brand itself as the best independent alternative. If the sale goes through, customers who flocked to ING for these very reasons may not put up with higher fees.

Story continues below advertisement

Yet given the level of interest from rival banks, that doesn't appear to be a major concern. Plus, it is common to see the purchase price in financial institution acquisitions to be adjusted after the deal closes if many clients flee.

A final announcement on the sale is expected to come in the fall, according to a person familiar with the process, and the deal could close by year end if everything goes according to plan.

To value ING's Canadian operations, bidders are looking to the sale of ING's U.S. online banking business to Capital One Financial Corp. for about $9-billion last year. However, that deal isn't completely comparable. At the time of the deal U.S. mortgages were in much rougher shape and Capital One wrote down the value of the mortgages by 4 per cent because it expected future delinquencies. But it's a good starting point.

JP Morgan has been hired as the banker for ING Bank Canada.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Tickers mentioned in this story
Unchecking box will stop auto data updates
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter