ING sells eastern Europe custody network to Citi

Signing contractCiti has acquired ING's custody and securities services business in seven central and eastern European markets representing €110 billion of assets under custody. The firms did not reveal the terms of the transaction, which covers ING's operations in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Russia, Slovakia and Ukraine. Subject to regulatory approvals, the firms expect the migration to be complete by the first quarter of 2014. ING says the transfer of local custody services is in line with plans to sharpen the bank's focus following a strategic review in November. The company says it aims to “concentrate on our position as an international retail, direct and commercial bank, while creating an optimal base for an independent future for our insurance and investment management operations”. ING says the deal, which will see 130 employees transferred to Citi, will not have a material impact on its results. The firm says it will continue to offer custody services in Poland as well as commercial and retail banking, insurance and asset management in central and eastern Europe. Bulgaria is the only country of the seven that was not already part of Citi's proprietary network. Its addition will expand the firm's proprietary network to 62 markets, while Citi's total custody network now covers more than 95 markets, the bank says. “ING was one of the first agents to identify the region’s rich opportunities, rapidly establishing an office network that provided unparalleled geographic coverage and local expertise,” says Neeraj Sahai, head of securities and fund services, Citi. Citi has $13.5 trillion (€10 trillion) of assets under custody in its securities and fund services business. ©2013 funds europe

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