ING Lease in the UK is to be run down, following a decision made by parent bank ING with no new business to be signed after November.
The UK leasing business was put under review during 2011, and after initial discussions about a possible sale came to nothing, the decision was made that the only remaining option was run-off.
The company’s 300-plus employees, who were informed of the decision this morning, now face redundancy.
Meanwhile the company will close to new business on an incremental basis as each of its broker contracts comes to a close.
By the end of November, no further business will be accepted, with the majority of the lease portfolio expected to run down over the next two years.
ING Lease is known to have written in excess of £1bn (1.2bn) in new leasing business each year.
A spokesperson for ING’s commercial banking unit in the UK, which will continue trading, confirmed that ING Lease had been a profitable business, but said the decision had been made as part of a broader strategic process.
"The economic environment is very tough, and banks are living in a very different regulatory environment" said the spokesperson, explaining the groups’s concerns about the overall shape of the bank and adding that the decision had been made to "concentrate on core markets".
According to ING, the decision is not linked to the sale of ING Direct to Barclays, announced on 9th October.
According to information released to Leasing Life by ING in February this year, the UK was considered a "core market" for the bank’s leasing arm.
Six other ING Lease businesses are currently in run-off: Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Hungary and Russia.More to follow