ING reports an 11% rise in its numbers over last year - and says next year promises good things for shareholders. But Standard Chartered is once again under the regulatory microscope. David Pollard reports.
It's been a long wait for ING shareholders, but it should be worth it. In fact, even more worth it than may have been previously expected. The Dutch bank abandoned dividends after its 10 billion euro bailout in 2008. The last one billion euros of that is due to be paid back to the state by May 15 next year - after which it's promised to resume dividends. But if it can pay the state back earlier, shareholders will have something extra to look forward to. ING's CFO Patrick Flynn. SOUNDBITE (English) Patrick Flynn, CFO, ING: ''In terms of dividend, the commitment is 40% payout ratio next year. That stays. If we're able to pay the state earlier, that 40% will go fully to shareholders. The base case had been that part of it would come from the bank to pay off the state. If we can repay the state earlier, the 40% goes to shareholders. So there's a potential positive impact here for shareholders on an earlier state repayment.'' First the bank says it has to see what comes out of the ECB's review of lenders. That's due in October and ING says it's not worried about it. In a major restructuring, it shed its investment bank, spun off its insurance arm and cut thousands of jobs. Its latest results are up 11 percent on the same period last year, on an improving Dutch economy. But pretax profit for Standard Chartered is down. And it's caught the eye of a U.S. regulator again for allegedly failing to flag high-risk transactions that could be vulnerable to money laundering. Some are suggesting the bank, which has a strong Asian focus, could face a penalty of up to 340 million dollars for its latest problems. Pretax profits were down 20 percent in the six months to June.