AMSTERDAM(Netherlands) : ING Groep NV, the Netherlands’ largest financial services group, reported on Friday a better than expected second quarter pretax profit of 2.07 billion euros ($2.45 billion) amid growing fee income, and as it reversed some provisions for bad loans taken amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Analysts had forecast pretax profit at 1.62 billion euros, according to Refinitiv data. That compares with 532 million euros in pretax profit in the second quarter of 2020, at the height of pandemic lockdowns.
Provisions were a negative 91 million euros, compared with 1.37 billion euros a year earlier.
“Looking at risk costs, these are actually negative for the quarter, but we have to remain prudent, there are still a lot of risks in the economies,” CEO Steven van Rijswijk said in a video interview released by ING with the earnings.
ING’s biggest markets, the Netherlands and Germany, are both forecast to grow by more than 3% this year as the COVID-19 crisis eases.
Fee income rose by 18% to 855 million euros, mostly in daily banking and investment products for retail customers.
Interest income declined by 2.6% to 3.34 billion euros amid continuing low interest rates. ING’s interest margin, a key measure of lending profitability, shrank to 1.36% from 1.44% a year ago.