Direct bank ING is courting customers with a three percent interest rate offer
A three before the decimal point – that hasn’t been the case with call money for a long time. The direct bank ING lures customers with the offer of three percent interest for six months. According to their own statements, no other German bank pays such high call money rates.
IIn the competition for customers, the direct bank ING is increasing the number of strokes: not only new customers, but also those who already have one Daily deposit account at the institute* get three percent interest on newly deposited funds for six months, as ING Germany announced on Wednesday in Frankfurt.
Since the interest rate turnaround by the European Central Bank (ECB) in July, banks no longer have to pay interest when they park money at the central bank, but instead make money from it. Therefore, money houses attract new customers, because money can be made with new deposits. Existing customers also get interest on call money again from many banks and savings banks, but usually less than new customers.
All in all, the ECB interest rate hikes are finally reaching savers, said Oliver Maier, managing director of the comparison portal Verivox: “Depending on the term and market segment, savings interest rates have sometimes doubled or even tripled in a few weeks.”
The same conditions for existing and new customers are rarely found on the market
On Wednesday, Maier classified: savers are currently not receiving such high overnight interest rates as at ING at any other German bank. According to Maier’s assessment, the new offer should further heat up the competition for savings. “Especially savers who are willing to shift their money occasionally can benefit from such promotional offers. As soon as the promotional interest expires, they simply switch to the next bank with a new customer special offer.”
A three before the decimal point – that hasn’t been the case with call money for a long time. The Suresse Direct Bank, which belongs to the Spanish Santander, was the first financial institution to call up this brand recently, as the consumer portal Biallo reported. There, the offer only applies to new customers and is limited to four months. From the fifth month there is “still above average” 1.75 percent per year, reported Biallo.
The same conditions for existing and new customers are also rarely found on the market. One exception: the direct bank DKB. All customers there have been receiving one percent interest on call money since April. The DKB made a “conscious decision against temporary lure offers, limited investment amounts and unequal treatment” of customers, explained DKB boss Stefan Unterlandstättner. “Instead, we offer fair conditions for everyone.”
When interest rates were low in recent years, excess deposits cost banks money
C24 Bank, the bank of the comparison portal Check24, has been paying two percent interest on current accounts on current accounts of up to 50,000 euros for both new and existing customers since April 1, 2023 until the end of the year. The advantage of this model: money does not have to be transferred to a separate account, but interest is paid directly on the current account, where it is available at any time for any expenses.
When interest rates were low in recent years, excess deposits cost banks money. ING Germany, which had previously lured customers with relatively high savings interest under the name ING-Diba for years, therefore increasingly relied on house bank customers. In the best case, such customers not only park money, but also generate income through mortgage lending, consumer credit or securities savings.
In October, ING Germany boss Nick Jue announced the interest rate turnaround for his house: “We will be the first major bank in Germany to bring call money interest back for everyone.” On December 6, ING started with 0.3 percent interest on call money for existing customers , since March 8 it has been 0.6 percent. ING initially attracted new customers with one percent for four months, most recently it was two percent.
After the decline in profits, ING is aiming for significantly stronger customer growth again in 2022
At ING Germany there is three percent interest on new money market accounts* for deposits up to EUR 50,000 from the time the money is received for six months. Existing customers get the higher interest rate for every euro of new deposits until April 25 – also up to a maximum of 50,000 euros.
“With this step, we are reaffirming our growth ambitions and also letting our existing customers participate more in rising interest rates,” explained ING Germany boss Jue. Because there is also an ambitious goal behind the conditions published on Wednesday: after a drop in profits in 2022, the direct bank is aiming for significantly stronger customer growth again.
“At today’s interest rates, any growth is profitable,” Jue said in early February. “That’s why an old goal is back: ten million private customers, but now for 2025.” Jue had already issued this target shortly after taking office on June 1, 2017, but later dropped it because of the low and negative interest rate environment. At the end of 2022, ING Germany had just over 9.1 million customers.
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