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Release Date: April 19, 1999

For immediate release

The Federal Reserve Board announced today its approval of the application of ING Bank, N.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, to establish a representative office in New York, New York.

Attached is the Board's Order relating to this action.

ING Bank, N.V.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Order Approving Establishment of a Representative Office

ING Bank, N.V. ("Bank"), Amsterdam, The Netherlands, a foreign bank within the meaning of the International Banking Act ("IBA"), has applied under section 10(a) of the IBA (12 U.S.C. §3107(a)) to establish a representative office in New York, New York. The Foreign Bank Supervision Enhancement Act of 1991, which amended the IBA, provides that a foreign bank must obtain the approval of the Board to establish a representative office in the United States.

Notice of the application, affording interested persons an opportunity to submit comments, has been published in a newspaper of general circulation in New York, New York (New York Times, September 14, 1998). The time for filing comments has expired, and the Board has considered the application and all comments received.

Bank, with assets of $298.5 billion,1 is the third largest bank in The Netherlands. Bank has 380 offices in The Netherlands, and approximately 125 offices in more than 50 countries.

Bank's parent company, ING Groep, N.V., ("ING Group")2 Amsterdam, The Netherlands, with total assets of $460.6 billion,3 is one of the world's largest financial services providers, offering life and non-life insurance, commercial and investment banking, asset management and related products and services. ING Group has operations in Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

The proposed representative office's activities would include marketing the products of Bank, maintaining relationships with U.S. corporate clients, and supporting Bank's Latin American offices on such matters as product development and marketing.

In acting on an application to establish a representative office, the IBA and Regulation K provide that the Board shall take into account whether the foreign bank engages directly in the business of banking outside of the United States, and has furnished to the Board the information it needs to assess the application adequately. The Board also shall take into account whether the foreign bank and any foreign bank parent is subject to comprehensive supervision or regulation on a consolidated basis by its home country supervisor (12 U.S.C. §3107(a)(2); 12 C.F.R. 211.24(d)(2)).4 In addition, the Board also may take into account additional standards as set forth in the IBA and Regulation K (12 U.S.C. §3105(d)(3)-(4); 12 C.F.R. 211.24(c)(2)).

As noted above, Bank engages directly in the business of banking outside the United States. Bank also has provided the Board with information necessary to assess the application through submissions that address the relevant issues. With respect to supervision by home country authorities, the Board previously has determined, in connection with applications involving other banks in The Netherlands, that those banks were subject to home country supervision on a consolidated basis.5 Bank is supervised by De Nederlandsche Bank (the "Central Bank") on substantially the same terms and conditions as those other banks.6 Based on all the facts of record, the Board has determined that Bank is subject to comprehensive supervision and regulation on a consolidated basis by its home country supervisor.

The Board also has taken into account the additional standards set forth in section 7 of the IBA and Regulation K (see 12 U.S.C. §3105(d)(3)-(4); 12 C.F.R. 211.24(c)(2)). The Central Bank has no objection to the establishment of the proposed representative office.

With respect to the financial and managerial resources of Bank, taking into consideration Bank's record of operations in its home country, its overall financial resources, and its standing with its home country supervisors, the Board has also determined that financial and managerial factors are consistent with approval of the proposed representative office. Bank appears to have the experience and capacity to support the proposed representative office and has established controls and procedures for the proposed representative office to ensure compliance with U.S. law.

With respect to access to information about Bank's operations, the Board has reviewed the restrictions on disclosure in relevant jurisdictions in which Bank operates and has communicated with relevant government authorities regarding access to information. Bank and its parents have committed to make available to the Board such information on the operations of Bank and any of its affiliates that the Board deems necessary to determine and enforce compliance with the IBA, the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended, and other applicable federal law. To the extent that the provision of such information to the Board may be prohibited by law, Bank and its parents have committed to cooperate with the Board to obtain any necessary consents or waivers that might be required from third parties for disclosure of such information. In addition, subject to certain conditions, the Central Bank may share information on Bank's operations with other supervisors, including the Board. In light of these commitments and other facts of record, and subject to the condition described below, the Board concludes that Bank has provided adequate assurances of access to any necessary information that the Board may request.

On the basis of all the facts of record, and subject to the commitments made by Bank and its parents, as well as the terms and conditions set forth in this order, the Board has determined that Bank's application to establish the representative office should be, and hereby is, approved. Should any restrictions on access to information on the operations or activities of Bank and its affiliates subsequently interfere with the Board's ability to obtain information to determine and enforce compliance by Bank or its affiliates with applicable federal statutes, the Board may require termination of any of Bank's activities in the United States. Approval of this application also is specifically conditioned on compliance by Bank and its parents with the commitments made in connection with this application and with the conditions in this order.7 The commitments and conditions referred to above are conditions imposed in writing by the Board in connection with its decision and may be enforced in proceedings under 12 U.S.C. §1818 against Bank and its affiliates.

By order of the Board of Governors,8 effective April 19, 1999.

(signed) Robert deV. Frierson

Robert deV. Frierson

Associate Secretary of the Board


1 Unless otherwise indicated, data are as of January 5, 1998.

2 Ninety-nine percent of the outstanding voting shares of ING Group are owned by a Dutch trust, Stichting Administratiekantoor ING Groep (the "Trust"). The Trust engages in no activity other than holding shares of ING Group. Interests in the Trust are evidenced by bearer receipts which carry no voting rights. Other than the Trust, no person owns more than 10 percent of the voting shares or bearer receipts.

3 Data as of December 31, 1998.

4 In assessing this standard, the Board considers, among other factors, the extent to which the home country supervisors: (i) ensure that the bank has adequate procedures for monitoring and controlling its activities worldwide; (ii) obtain information on the condition of the bank and its subsidiaries and offices through regular examination reports, audit reports, or otherwise; (iii) obtain information on the dealings with and relationship between the bank and its affiliates, both foreign and domestic; (iv) receive from the bank financial reports that are consolidated on a worldwide basis or comparable information that permits analysis of the bank's financial condition on a worldwide consolidated basis; (v) evaluate prudential standards, such as capital adequacy and risk asset exposure, on a worldwide basis. These are indicia of comprehensive, consolidated supervision. No single factor is essential, and other elements may inform the Board's determination.

5 See MeesPierson, N.V., 80 Federal Reserve Bulletin 662 (1994); Cooperatieve Centrale Raiffeisen-Boerenleenbank B.A., Rabobank Nederland, 80 Federal Reserve Bulletin 947 (1994).

6 The Central Bank also receives information on ING Group with regard to its nonbanking operations. The Central Bank and the Insurance Supervisory Board have entered into a protocol for the purpose of jointly regulating groups with interests in both banks and insurance companies.

7 The Board's authority to approve the establishment of the proposed representative office parallels the continuing authority of the State of New York to license offices of a foreign bank. The Board's approval of this application does not supplant the authority of the State of New York and the New York State Banking Department ("Department") to license the proposed office of Bank in accordance with any terms or conditions that the Department may impose.

8 Voting for this action: Chairman Greenspan, Vice Chair Rivlin, and Governors Kelley, Meyer, Ferguson, and Gramlich.

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