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Barclays bank acquires ING Direct UK

London based Barclays Bank PLC has acquired ING Direct UK from the Dutch financial conglomerate ING Groep, which will further consolidate its banking operations in the country.

On 20 February 2013, the High Court of England & Wales approved transfer of the savings and mortgage business of ING Direct UK to Barclays and the acquired unit has been rebranded as Barclays Direct.

Disposal of the UK unit is part of the company’s strategy to concentrate mainly on retail, direct, and commercial banking in Europe, life insurance, and retirement services.

Under the terms of the agreement, ING has transferred £11.6 billion (€13.4bn at current exchange rates) of ING Direct UK’s savings and deposits and £5.5bn (€6.4bn) of mortgages to Barclays.

The sale will not affect ING Direct’s operations in Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

The Dutch firm will remain investing to develop the ING Direct business model, increasing the product offering and extending distribution, while integrating the balance sheet with the rest of ING bank.

Following the completion of the transaction, ING will get a capital release of approximately €280m in the first quarter of 2013 due to a reduction in risk weighted assets.