De FT vandaag:
Just a few months ago, ING was still buying back stock to address criticisms that it was overcapitalised. Now the Dutch banking and insurance group needs €10bn, although “need” is hardly being systematically defined these days. ING has no liquidity or funding problems. It has about €100bn of untapped liquidity and can even fund itself below the interbank rate. The bank also has one of the most favourable loan-to-deposit ratios going, a proxy for stable funding in the crisis. Nor does ING have an investment bank chock-full of toxic assets. True, it has about €20bn of US Alt-A mortgage securities, where some credit losses are expected, and it has pre-announced a net loss of €500m for the third quarter.
But with the market fixated on a one-size-fits-all capital ratio across Europe, ING’s own buffer to cope with future losses was perceived as inadequate.
A tier one ratio of at least 10 per cent is this season’s must-have. ING now sports one of more than 10 per cent, courtesy of the Dutch state. Maybe it was in recognition of ING’s relative strength that it got its capital injection on relatively favourable terms. They are certainly better than those suffered by investors in UK banks.