Sustainability

Creating a banking environment where everyone finds its place

Money is a leading cause of stress for people around the world. Financial issues impact more than our wallets, as it’s connected to our physical health and social well-being.

As a bank, we have a responsibility and an opportunity to help people become more financially healthy. It starts by making sure some basics are in place. Like having access to products and services in a world that is becoming more and more digital. Another key element is about contributing to improve financial education so that people are more empowered to take control of their finances. We believe financially healthy people can contribute to a healthy economy and help drive social progress. This impact can be made through our business activities, but also by reaching people directly through community investment initiatives.

1. Accessibility to banking services

Without a bank account, it is increasingly difficult to make payments or to receive money. To prevent certain people from being totally excluded, we offer the universal basic banking service. This service allow people in difficulty to perform a number of basic operations. The service is accessible to all private individuals in need.

ING is also aware of the particular needs of people with disabilities or physical restrictions. That’s why we are constantly working to improve access to our services to allow all our customers to manage their personal and professional banking with the same level of comfort and convenience.

2. Digital Inclusion and online security

Nowadays, knowing how to manage everyday tasks via digital platforms has become a must. Whether it's looking up train times, checking job vacancies, keeping in touch with your child's school, making a doctor's appointment, registering for a service or banking – it’s all going digital. But 4 out of every 10 Belgians are still being left behind. Indeed, some have few or no digital skills which means they’re at risk of digital exclusion.

At ING, we want to ensure that everyone can find its place in a safe digital environment. To support digital inclusion and online security, we set up different services and established key partnerships. From our ING Fund for a more digital society, to our employees volunteering as digital buddies, or dedicated tips to avoid online fraud, discover our actions when it comes to digital inclusion.

3. Financial Education

Every day, millions of people conduct all kinds of financial transactions: making payments, arranging credit and so forth. To understand the implications this will have, it is important to have basic financial knowledge. However not all Belgians have this basic knowledge. In a wealthy country like Belgium, financial illiteracy is often a “hidden” problem. Half of young Belgians do not know how to manage a budget and three quarters are not aware that banks use savings to provide loans.(1)

ING wants to play its part to ensure there is better financial knowledge for all. First of all, we display specific content, tips and tricks needed to better manage a budget all over our channels. Next to that ING created, together with its preferred partners in the world of investment funds – Amundi, AXA Investment Managers, BlackRock, NN Investment Partners and Franklin Templeton – the “Financial Literacy Fund” managed by the King Baudouin Foundation. The objective of the fund is to improve the Belgian population’s and especially young people’s financial knowledge through specific initiatives:

  • In 2021-2022 the fund supported an exhibition on financial education at the BELvue Museum: “Mysteries of Finance", giving young people aged 12 and above an insight into financial issues and the associated challenges people face in their private and professional lives.
  • In 2022, 15 new projects led by schools and local associations are supported by the fund to promote financial literacy of youngest. And the call for projects continues, targeting schools and associations.

Our commitments towards financial health & inclusion

  • We have committed to the 10 action points of the Belgian banking sector on (digital) inclusion
  • We partner with the King Baudouin Foundation to support digital inclusion and financial literacy in Belgium
  • We have signed the commitment to Financial Health and Inclusion of the UN Principles for Responsible Banking 

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