AMSTERDAM ING Group NV may take a restructuring charge of as much as $92 million to eliminate jobs at its investment bank, analysts said.
Most of the cuts are expected to occur in London, they said.
ING disclosed plans in November to reorganize its securities unit. The proposal includes selling or closing the U.S. part of the business, and folding ING Barings in Europe with other divisions.
ING lost the top two executives at ING Barings, David Robins and Malcolm Le May, two weeks after the largest Dutch financial services company announced the restructuring plan.
ING is in discussions to sell the U.S. part of ING Barings to ABN Amro Holding NV for about $300 million, people familiar with the situation said Friday. ING also is considering cutting hundreds of jobs in London where about 1,700 people are employed, they said. An ING spokeswoman declined to comment.
The concept that London would somehow stay as they pulled the management to Amsterdam always seemed unlikely, said Andrew Goodwin, an analyst at Commerzbank in London. Thats one of the reasons David Robins left.
ING Barings employs about 9,000 people worldwide, including 2,000 in North America.
The firings could cost ING as much as $92,400 per person for severance packages, analysts said. The company earned $2.8 billion in the nine months that ended Sept. 30 before one-time gains, which boosted net income to $10 billion.
The market will tend to regard the restructuring as a price to pay to improve the quality of the business going forward, Mr. Goodwin said. The question is to what extent they can achieve their aims with this strategy.
Investment banks worldwide are starting to eliminate jobs to prepare for a business slowdown. Merrill Lynch & Co., Banc of America Securities, and Prudential Securities Inc. have already announced cuts. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. last month said they would slow hiring after a slump in fourth-quarter earnings.