ING Direct expects to launch operations in Japan later this year

ING Group announced today that it has initiated the process of obtaining a banking license from Japan's Financial Services Agency (FSA) for ING Direct, ING's direct banking arm. Subject to regulatory approval, ING Direct expects to launch its operation in the Japanese market in the second half of 2007. This step is in line with ING Direct's global strategy to enter large and mature markets with a developed infrastructure for direct banking. Japan is of key strategic importance and represents a large business potential with its ¤5.6 trillion savings market, a middle class of approximately 90 million people, and one of the world's most advanced internet and telephone infrastructures. "By entering Japan, ING Direct will expand its presence to countries representing approximately 70% of the global savings market. We look forward to meeting the expectations of Japanese consumers through ING Direct's core concepts of simplicity, convenience and competitive pricing that have proved a success in all our nine other countries," said Dick Harryvan, CEO of ING Direct and ING Group Executive Board member. "Our growth is a testimony to the ongoing success of ING's direct banking platform. ING Direct aims to be the world's most preferred consumer bank by offering competitive products and making banking simple". ING Direct has just celebrated its 10th anniversary, having launched in Canada in April 1997, and since expanded rapidly to Spain, Australia, France, USA, Italy, Germany, the UK and Austria. It is the world's largest direct bank and the leading direct bank in all markets in which it operates. ING Direct is one of ING Group's growth engines and currently contributes 6% to ING Group profit. As of March 2007, the number of ING Direct clients exceeded 18.2 million in nine countries, Funds Entrusted were EUR197 billion, Residential Mortgages were EUR75 billion and Off-Balance Funds were EUR16 billion. +-------------------------------------------------------------------+ | Press enquiries: | | Pilar Teixeira, ING Group +31 20 541 5469, | | | +-------------------------------------------------------------------+ ING is a global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking, insurance and asset management to over 60 million private, corporate and institutional clients in 50 countries. With a diverse workforce of over 120,000 people, ING comprises a broad spectrum of prominent companies that increasingly serve their clients under the ING brand