A Scotia-owned ING Direct may maintain its ties with the broker channel longer than many predicted, with the bank announcing it will work to double its customer base -- apparently without an expanded branch network.
“Scotiabank is much more interested in the growth of our business than our current shareholders,” said Peter Aceto, CEO of ING Direct in a recent interview with a business news publication. “We just think about, what are the basic needs of the typical Canadian who doesn’t need a branch to do business.”
The disclosure of ING plans to introduce a credit card, discount brokerage services and unsecured lines of credit – without any mention of new branches – provides mortgage professionals with the first hint of good news about the lender’s ultimate decision to remain or to exit the channel. Brokers, however, continue to wait on a formal communication from either Scotia or ING since the August acquisition announcement, although Scotia has maintained it will operate ING Direct as a separate business.
Earlier this month, some veteran brokers expressed real concern that a Scotia-owned ING would likely “disappear in Canada” after 18 months.
That included a possible absorption ING’s broker services division into the Scotia operation.