ING today announced that it signed an agreement with Piraeus Bank, which sets out the final terms of a strategic alliance between the two financial groups.
The strategic alliance combines the distribution power of the retail-banking network of Piraeus Bank and the agency network of INGÂ's insurance subsidiary Nationale-Nederlanden Greece (300 branches and 2,500 agents in total).
Mr Jan Nijssen, member of the Executive Committee ING Europe and chairman of the region Central Europe, said: 'This strategic alliance, which reflects our growth expectations for the Greek financial market, creates an innovative bank-assurance player in Greece with 14% share of the life insurance market, 10% share of the banking market and 8% share of the asset management market.'
Mr Michalis Sallas, chairman of the Board of Directors of Piraeus Bank, said: 'This strategic alliance begins at a significant time for Europe, due to the introduction of the euro, and signifies our belief in the dynamic development prospects of the bank-assurance sector in Greece and our commitment to the continuous growth of the Piraeus Group and ING Group.'
All joint ventures and all joint venture products will be co-branded as Â' ING (lion) PiraeusÂ' and will be sold through ING GreeceÂ's agency network, the Piraeus Bank branches and through a dedicated sales force (to be formed).
The asset management joint venture will include all of INGÂ's and PiraeusÂ' Greek mutual funds and will introduce INGÂ's international mutual funds on the Greek market.
Both partners have also agreed to jointly explore possibilities in other countries in southeast Europe, such as Bulgaria and Turkey.
(source: ING Groep)