WASHINGTON - ING Group of the Netherlands won regulatory approval on Monday to start a federal thrift, ING Bank.

It will be based in Wilmington, Del., and will operate a marketing office in New York. The thrift will offer retail banking services to the public, but the Office of Thrift Supervision noted that ING Bank's business will primarily be conducted via call centers, direct mail, and a transactional Web site.

The new thrift did not make any dollar-figure lending or investment commitments under the Community Reinvestment Act as some companies have done. ING Bank will be evaluated under CRA for its actions in the consolidated metropolitan statistical area that includes Wilmington, Philadelphia, and Atlantic City.

ING Group, a $500 billion-asset company based in Amsterdam, has a separate application pending before the agency to acquire ReliaStar Bank, a federal savings bank in St. Cloud, Minn., as part of its deal for ReliaStar Financial Corp.

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