‘Acquisition of porn and gambling customers embarrasses ING ‘

The largest acquisition of ING since the credit crisis has resulted in a disillusionment for the bank. The annexed payment platform Payvision served dubious customers in the porn and gambling industry for years. ING has lost almost 200 million euros on the purchase. The FD writes this on the basis of its own research.

ING was so upset with its fintech subsidiary that last September the most profitable portfolio, that of porn customers, was silently transferred to a former owner of Payvision for a euro.

More than a month earlier, ING had to write off more than half of Payvision, which cost the bank 350 million euros in 2018.

According to ING, the write-off of EUR 188 million on Payvision is related to the coronacrisis. Other payment service providers do good business because of the coronacrisis. Under the influence of the lockdowns, the number of online transactions increases enormously.

Very strategic

In the acquisition at the time, top man Ralph Hamers called the fintech ‘very strategic’. Meanwhile, Payvision has been on the radar of the American money laundering dog FinCEN and several US banks for years because of the processing of suspicious transactions and serving customers who could not enter the regular banking circuit.

This is evident from a dozen state-secret transaction reports that are part of the FinCEN Files, held by journalist collective ICIJ. The FD has access to these documents.

According to the FD, Satisfied ING continues to be satisfied with the acquisition of Payvision.

The bank sees the investment as a long-term deal. As more and more of their business customers also sell online, Payvision‘s technique comes in handy.

The bank indicates that efforts have been made in recent years to reduce risks at Payvision. A large number of customers have been said goodbye. As a result, the company’s turnover and profits are lagging behind the rest of the payment market. The bank maintains that the write-off of EUR 188 million is corona-related.

Following the acquisition of payment processor Payvision, ING has, according to its own claims, from the outset, made a farewell to customers who do not fit the risk profile of the bank, reports the bank in response to the message from Het Financieele Dagblad. This includes porn and gambling customers, says ING, which does not take into account amounts.