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EC responds to General Court’s annulment of 2009 ING restructuring plan

 |  May 13, 2012

In response to the General Court’s partial annulment of the European Commission’s 2009 ING Restructuring Decision, the Commission has approved the plan to provide legal clarity. Without the second approval decision, the annulment had the effect of leave 90 percent of the state aid uncovered by EC approval. The measures were for a 10 billion euro capital injection by the Dutch State for ING Group.

The Commission is also appealing the General Court’s judgment to the EU Court of Justice. The General Court questioned the Commission’s calculation that the change of terms for repaying the aid included a further 2 billion euros. As a result, the General Court annulled the entire assessment of the restructuring plan. In a memo outling the FAQ of the decision, the Commission explains that it does not agree that the MEIP test needed to be performed, and that the General Court went beyond what was requested by annulling the finding that the entire measure constitutes compatible state aid. 

Furthermore, the Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into amendments to the 2009 plan made by the Netherlands and ING, due to implementation concerns and the complexity of the issues. The investigation will look at three issues:

1. ING did not pay adequate remuneration to the Netherlands in 2010 and 2011, despite reporting profits. The Commission will thus “assess the possibilities of still achieving sufficient remuneration for the State.”

2. The Commission will determine how to address distortions in ING’s home market, since the Dutch State and ING believe that the divestment of Westland Utretcht Bank is not feasible.

3. Following a complaint, the Commission will examine ING Direct’s pricing behavior and use of state aid.

Full content: EC Press Release


Related contentStability and Competition in EU Banking During the Financial Crisis: The Role of State Aid Control (Gert-Jan Koopman, DG Comp)


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