ING offers banking, investments, life insurance, and retirement services. ING Belgium (formerly Banque Bruxelles Lambert / BBL) is the fourth-largest commercial bank in Belgium. ING has two banking networks in Belgium: ING Belgium, a universal bank, and Record Bank, a subsidiary retail bank of ING Belgium. ING claims to follow the Equator Principles in their project financing and thus requires environmental and social assessments and minimum standards from their clients. Also, in signing the UN Global Compact, they have committed themselves to core human rights and environmental values. Furthermore, they have crafted policies on forestry and plantation, natural resources, and defence and manufacturing, among others. Most of these policies, however, are too brief to provide useful or efficient guidelines.
According to their policy on forestry and plantations, ING does not support the financing of deforestation or indigenous peoples’ loss of livelihood. However, this policy only applies to so-called “High Conservation Value Forests” as certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. As such, ING can still invest in or provide loans to companies – like Wilmar and Vale – that devastate primary forests in Indonesia and Brazil, which as of yet, have not been certified by the FSC.
Similar to the forestry policy, the scope and guidelines for the natural resource industry are limited and only apply to certain certified areas such as UNESCO World Heritage sites. ING also established a comprehensive policy regarding weapons, especially cluster munitions, which however, doesn’t apply to the whole company.
The above policy information is related to an analysis undertaken in Dirty Profits 2 published in December 2012.
The Dirty Profits 3, published November 2013, report shows financial ties between ING and the selected controversial companies. The details of the companies can be found in the Dirty profits 3 report, and more detailed data over the research period 2012-2014 related to investments can be downloaded here.
ING was again included in the Dirty Profits 2 report and its financial ties with controversial companies are contained within the publication, however for more detailed tables illustrating the extent of the connections during the research period 2011-2013 please see the data tables available here.
In the Dirty Profits 1 report, ING ranks third in harmful investment transactions with a total of €6.528 billion invested in 24 of the 28 controversial companies investigated in the PROFUNDO report. For detailed information regarding the companies that ING is invested in, please refer to the PROFUNDO research report links below. The PROFUNDO report, (conducted between 2010 and 2012), analyzes the investments between ING (and many other financial institutes) and controversial companies.