ING Group NV plans to spin off its U.S. direct banking operation under a restructuring plan that would enable it to seek European Union approval for a taxpayer-funded bailout.
The Dutch financial services company also said Monday that it would sell off its insurance units and that it expects to raise $11.3 billion in a rights offering.
It said it expects to shed the insurance units through initial public offerings and sales to other firms over the next four years.
The measures are part of a restructuring plan filed with the European Commission to garner approval for state aid, including a $15 billion cash injection and guarantees on $32.4 billion of mortgage assets.
The European Commission will require ING to sell its U.S. online banking business, ING Direct FSB of Wilmington, Del., by the end of 2013. The Amsterdam company expects to get final approval for the restructuring plan before a Nov. 25 shareholders meeting.
"We have made very good progress in contacts with the Dutch authorities in recent weeks on the restructuring of ING and the valuation of impaired assets," Jonathan Todd, a spokesman for the commission, wrote in an e-mail. "We intend to make a decision in the next few weeks."
ING was created by the 1991 merger of the insurer Nationale Nederlanden and NMB Postbank Group. Jan Hommen, who took over as chief executive in January, said he would try to sell the insurance business as a single entity rather than break it up.
"What used to be a benefit became a negative," Hommen said in an interview. "Ideally, it's nice to keep the businesses together, but the market will have to tell us whether that's possible and the market will have to tell us what the price is."
The restructuring measures, including steps already taken, will probably result in a pro forma balance-sheet reduction of around $900 billion by 2013, ING said. ING said job cuts this year amounted to 10,400, or 8.3% of its work force, by the end of the third quarter. It said in January that it planned to eliminate 7,000 jobs as part of a plan to reduce costs by $1.5 billion.
ING said in April that it planned to raise as much as $12 billion by selling assets. It said in August that it was reviewing additional strategic options "to facilitate our continued transformation."