Dutch bank ING to slash 7,000 jobs, close branches

Dutch banking group ING is slashing 7,000 jobs in Belgium and the Netherlands as the company focuses on online services in the face of growing competition.

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ING said in a statement Monday that some 3,500 full-time jobs would disappear in Belgium by 2021 and 2,300 in the Netherlands. Almost 1,000 jobs would be lost among ING's external suppliers.

At the same time, the company says it will invest 800 million euros ($899 million) in its "digital transformation in order to further improve customer experience."

Some 1,250 ING and Record Bank agencies in Belgium are to close.

ING's cuts come amid broader problems in Europe's banking sector. Some are struggling to restructure their businesses. Others, like Deutsche Bank, face big regulatory fines, and some are loaded with bad investments.