What’s in Your Pocket? ING Direct! Capital One to Buy ING Direct USA Online Banking Division

ING Groep NV (NYSE:ING), the Dutch parent company of ING Direct USA, has agreed to sell its online bank to Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE:COF)

The sale will be for $9 billion in cash and stock.  This move helps Capital One move up from the 8th largest bank in the U.S., based on deposits, to the 5th largest depository bank.  Capital One also becomes the largest direct bank with the acquisition.

Why sell ING Direct?

ING Direct is a successful division and a pioneer in online banking – why sell it? Back in 2008 ING Groep NV received a 10 billion Euro bailout from the Dutch government.  As part of that loan, ING Groep NV is required to restructure and divest itself of ING Direct USA.

Not only will Capital One get ING Direct online banking, but they will also receive ShareBuilder, giving Capital One an investing arm for their customer base.

From Richard Fairbank, CEO of Capital One:

“The acquisition of ING Direct is a game-changing transaction that delivers attractive deal economics immediately and compelling long-term strategic value.  The combination of Capital One and ING Direct creates a unique and valuable banking franchise that includes advantaged access to assets, great local scale branch banking in attractive markets, and with ING Direct, the leading direct bank customer franchise with national reach. Adding ING Direct enhances and sustains key sources of shareholder value over the long-term, including growth, returns and capital generation.”

What does this mean for ING Direct Online Banking?

I wouldn’t expect any changes in 2011 but we should see Capital One Integrating ING Direct USA into its own brands shortly after.  This little tidbit from the ING press release seems to indicate the transformation:

ING Direct USA will retain brand attributes such as the “orange ball”. ING will allow a one-year transitional use of the “ING Direct” trademark.

The parent company, ING, will still be working on developing their ING Direct brand in other countries around the world.


You know I love ING Direct.  I have multiple accounts with them – Orange Savings, Electric Orange Checking, and Sharebuilder.  Putting money away automatically in my ING Direct savings account was one of the first definitive steps I took to get my personal finances in order.  I’ll definitely be sad to see ING Direct go.

I hope that Capital One really takes a close look at what makes ING Direct work and decides to keep their model.  ING Direct is a great banking/investing product and they have awesome customer service.  Capital One has a chance to become a premier, innovative bank if they want to.

Should you switch your ING bank account?

I would wait to see what comes of the transition first.  We won’t see any major changes for a while.  Either way, your banking money is still FDIC-protected, it’s safe.  For the time being, this is just an ownership change.

My fingers are crossed that the new online bank and investing arm under Capital One can be stronger, but time will tell.  Capital One says they will be able to save on costs with their synergy with ING Direct.  Perhaps those saved costs will continue to pass onto customers?

One interesting aspect is that Capital One has a good number of physical bank locations, one thing that ING Direct USA didn’t (hence being an online bank).  Now they are a brick and mortar bank with a strong online banking arm.

Keep an eye out to see if there are any account changes like additional fees or rate reductions that occur.  But to be optimistic, keep an eye out for innovations as well.  Let’s see if Capital One can take ING Direct USA to the next level.

Update 02/2013: Capital One has officially changed the ING Direct accounts to 360 Checking and 360 Savings (ShareBuilder keeps their name).  I’m happy to say I haven’t seen any change in their service whatsoever.  I still count the Electric Orange, now 360 Checking, as one of the best online checking accounts out there.

What do you think of ING Direct USA’s sale to Capital One?  Will you move your account?


  • Report: Capital One To Buy ING Direct For $9 Billion – The Consumerist;
  • ING to sell ING Direct USA to Capital One | ING – http://www.ing.com/Our-Company/About-us/Article/ING-to-sell-ING-Direct-USA-to-Capital-One.htm;
  • Capital One – Press Information – News Release – http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=70667&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1574883&highlight=
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Published or updated February 23, 2013.


  1. Hillarie says:

    I’m cautiously optimistic, and still eagerly anticipating the electronic check deposit feature that ING is teasing us with on the website right now.

    My only direct experience with Capital One is a now-cancelled Visa credit card through them. I didn’t have any problems with their service (1998 – early 2000s) then so I that is why I am not going into panic mode with their acquisition of ING Online.

    • Oh, you noticed that little teaser there! I’m looking forward to seeing how that works out. If I can deposit checks without leaving the house that would be a real time-saver.

      I’m cautiously optimistic too. Any company looking to buy ING Direct USA has to know they are getting a strong brand. To tinker with it and cut any services only devalues what you are buying. We’ll see.

    • NC Consumer says:

      Please click the link and sign my petition asking the owner/CEO of capital one not to change anything about ING DIRECT except the name.



  2. You know, I JUST got around to opening an ING savings account last month. So many people were raving about how great it was that I had to give it a shot. So far so good, and I was actually going to open accounts for my kids so I could start depositing their allowance and teaching them how to grow their money. I hope features like that stay and the interest rates don’t head south.

    • There’s no reason to believe they won’t stay an excellent product. Their kids deposits look intriguing and if you think they will help teach your kids then go for it. I don’t think this acquisition should change that (we have a sub-account for our daughter that she checks on).

      Until I hear otherwise, it’s business as usual for me.

  3. jonathan says:

    I had a car loan with CapOne a few years back and they were shady at best. I’m not happy to have them weaseling their way back into my finances, but I’ll wait for them to show their true colors before I move my money.

  4. My heart sank as I read the e-mail I received yesterday. I’ve had both checking & savings accounts with ING Direct for about 6 years now and have been 100% satisfied & loyal. O guess I’ll wait and see what happens but I have no desire to join Capital One or any other gigantic, credit-card vending, pact with the devil. LOL. I’ll sit tight for now but when the changes begin I’ll jump ship and dog padle over to AllyBank.

    • The divestiture has been in the works for awhile so it was only a matter of time before someone bought ING Direct USA. In some ways, it may be good that Capital One bought them rather than one of the bigger banks as CapOne will be hungry to make itself more competitive and hopefully they will use ING Direct USA to their competitive advantage.

    • Wait, you received an email about the ING/CapOne from ING Direct?

      I’m an account holder, and I got nothing. Odd…

  5. I just hope they stay with higher-than-average interest rates. As long as they don’t break the website and keep the higher rates, I’ll stay no matter who takes it over. 🙂

    • Yes, let’s hope they keep the higher rates! And I’m really hoping they keep their customer service model as well. I’ve always had great service calling them.

  6. I had to move my accounts because their transition of Chevy Chase was horrible. Fees went up and their corporate communications stunk. I realize there are growing pains, but their policies would not count a CD as a “deposit” amount across accounts when figuring if you owed a fee for going under a minimum deposit level with the bank, whereas Chevy Chase’s did. A certificate of deposit is not a deposit, who knew?

    I too have many accounts with ING Direct (savings, mortgage, sharebuilder) and wanted to puke when I heard Cap One was bidding on it. Having gone through the Chevy Chase experience this is awful news and I’ll probably be transferring my money elsewhere, sadly.

  7. I’m planning to move my money from ING Direct. Every time one business takes over another, their are increasing fees, worse rates etc. I’m looking around for somewhere for my sharebuilder money and will just move my ING savings to sallie mae.

    • I’m hoping that ING is such a unique identity with a strong customer base that Cap One will take that into consideration. The online bank landscape is changing and banks need to innovate not take away features.

  8. That’s a good point about ING Direct will have to eventually transition away from anything with “ING” in the name.

    My guess is that even without the “ING”, Capital One will want to keep ING Direct pretty much as is (perhaps CAPdirect.com?). It just has too much of a successful track record and brand.

    That may mean Cap One transitions their direct banking into the future ING Direct. The one downside to that is that Cap One’s savings accounts (like the InterestPlus Savings) have a history of competitive rates which have been more competitive than ING Direct’s Orange Savings. So we may lose those accounts.

  9. JustinC says:

    As a long time ING Direct customer, and a PAST customer of Capital One, I HATE this. Capital One is a very unethical crappy company to do business with. I am NOT pleased. Capital One is a nickel-and-dime you bank, taking over a “nickel and dime you banks suck” bank. This will not end well. I am looking at alternatives to stick my 50k or so in. Screw Capital One.

    • Haha, tell us what you really think Justin! I haven’t dealt with CapOne so I can’t comment on their banking, but if you’ve had bad experiences with them then I can certainly understand your stance.

  10. I opened an online Savings Account this morning at Ally Bank just to plat with it for a while and get a feeling for Ally. If I’m plesed with this account I’ll go all the rest of the way and bail on The CapitalOne deal, despite how wonderful it could be. I’m not an investor or person with enough funds on deposit to worry about the highest interest rates. In fact, I am a disabled 47 year old living on $934 a month. For me having banking services that don’t kill me with hidden fees and charges is really important. I appreciate how flawlessly my Orange Checking Account has functioned over the last 4 years as well as the fact that “Free Checking” at ING REALLY means FREE! My local banks have always nickle & dimed me into a blind rage.

    • I hear you. Even with rates low these days, it’s the no fee/ease of use/great customer service that’s kept me with ING.

  11. I trust Cap One as far as I can throw them. I was really hoping Ally would make the purchase. Since that didn’t happen, I’m jumping off the Titanic before I even see the iceburg. I see a rescue ship in the distance – it’s Ally!

    • Another vote against CapOne.

      Anyone else realize that if Ally bought ING it would be one company rescued/created with gov’t stimulus buying another company that had to be sold because of gov’t stimulus? It would kind of be like the US buying the bank from the Dutch? Just sayin’.

  12. I have been with Sharebuilder the past 4 years. It is the perfect investment arm for me….one of the little guys who buys a few shares each month. While I invest monthly, I trade less than 10 times a year. I hope Capital One does not tinker with a formula that really helps the small investor.

    • Same here, I don’t do much trading but what I have done (outside of IRA’s) was with ShareBuilder.

      Even ShareBuilder’s president is awesome. I got to meet him last year and he was a super down-to-earth guy.

  13. My money will be outta there before the end of the month. One thing I don’t want is Capital One in my wallet!

    • Ouch! Another non-fan of Capital One. Why not give it some time though, to see if there are any negative changes first?

      • If Capital One is a rattlesnake, and you’ve been bitten in the past, and are suddenly confronted with another snake, wouldn’t you choose prudence and caution over risking your safety?

        I too had Capital One years ago, and they attempted to tell me after my card was paid off in full, that I owed them several hundred dollars. Thanks, but no thanks. I will be researching somewhere else to invest my money.

        They also say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. 😉

  14. This will not be a good thing. I don’t trust Capital One at all. I may have to transfer all of my accounts out.

    • One more for no CapOne. What is it about CapOne that you don’t trust them?

      • Glen,
        My husband works at a lawfirm that has dealt with them. Their credit card practices have been less than ethical, although my husband tells me that they have been slowly cleaning up their act. I’m afraid once the sale is made there will be more fees and less interest paid. If this happens, of course, we will definitely pull all of our $$ out.

        • If I see fees going up and customer service go down then I’ll be out too. But you do say they are cleaning up their act which does give a glimmer of hope.

  15. I had credit card dealings with Cap1 so many years ago I’ve forgotten why I dumped their card. But what I haven’t forgotten is the bad taste that’s been left in my mouth from the Cap1 experience. Can’t explain it in a rational way, but I’ll bail from ING in a NY Minute once the deal is done. The reason Cap1 is so profitable is that they bang their customers for everything. Come to think of it, that’s why we dumped their card. The fees and rates were off the charts. Can’t stand them.

    • I can definitely see how you wouldn’t trust the sale if you have already had bad experiences with Capital One.

  16. I’ve had online savings accounts at both Capital One and ING Direct for over 5 years.
    The Capital One interest rates are slightly better for its Interest plus account, and you don’t need as large a balance to get the best rate. No fees either You can also have unlimited transfer accounts (I have about 8, whereas ING limits you to 3. But Capital One doesn’t have an online checking account, so we will see what they do with that…

    • So their checking and investment arms will be new to CapOne. Let’s hope they create true synergy between the companies for the customer’s advantage.

  17. Hal Mann says:

    Go ahead and “wait-and-see”, and perhaps you’ll see them institute and account-closing fee. No, I am closing my account now before Cap One actually gets a chance to have ANY power whatsoever over my accounts. The time to go is now, before Cap One actually takes control. I loved ING Direct, and how often can one say that about a bank? Too bad, so sad, time to move on…

    • Hal, Do you know of other bank accounts with an account closing fee? Not saying they don’t exist, just haven’t closed many out that I’ve seen that.

  18. I have had on and off experiences with Capital One since the late 80’s when they started and were Signet Bank. They were one of the first to market to college students, like I was in that period. The only lingering bad mark I have on my credit report if from them, due to a late payment when I switched from snail mail to email only payments. I had not known or forgotten to sign up for alerts and notifications. Payment date came and went and before I knew it I had a 39.00 late fee and a a 30 day late mark on my credit report. Why am I still pissed after all these years? Because at that same time, I went electronic only on American Express and they had the decency to prompt and ask if I wanted a 15 day alert for upcoming bills. A few years later when I wanted to lower interest rates on my credit cards even Bank of America was happy to lower the rate. Not Capital One. I had been a customer for 15 years. Finally, a year and a half ago, I got a pre-approved car loan from Capital One. The dealer saw the check, and said, “Capital One is shady. I need to check your credit.” I have a year and a half of payments left. Two weeks ago I decided to sell some stock and pay the rest of the loan off, just to be done with Capital One. Now this bank sale. I read that letter from Kuhlmann and about dropped my teeth. I have cussed him out and called him a sell out. Will I trust Capital One with my hard earned cash and investments!? NOT!

  19. I’m poised at the railing and ready to jump overboard at a moments notice. I have opened both a free checking & savings account with Ally Bank which is a very comparable “internet only” bank that actually has a few perks that ING never had. With the free checking account I get free checks and full reimbursement for all fees incurred from using any and all ATM’s. I haven’t yet shifted direct deposits or linked accounts like PayPal or monthly automatic bill pay but it will take no time to do now that the accounts are ready and waiting.

    • Ally is certainly a nice alternative if you plan to jump from ING DIRECT. You seem to be willing to see what the effects of the buyout are first before you switch.

  20. Based off C1’s past, I’d say its safe to say they will destroy what ING has created. As a long time ING customer who as relied on their excellent customer service I am not about sticking around to let C1 get any of my money…

    • Another dissatisfied customer! Do you have personal experience with CapOne not treating you well? Just wondering. I understand where you are coming from. From these comments alone there is some strong sentiment against this merger.

  21. I don’t know why everyone is talking down about capital one… Im 21 and over the past few years capital one has been my salvation in having credit as good as sex …love them!!! GREAT customer service, i was on the phone once just having a conversation with their customer service people…I have the Venture card…EPIC…and someone called them a Nickel and Dime-ya bank…Hell no they say that because they don’t use the credit cards within their means. I haven’t paid a cent of interest to capital one and they give me free plane tickets lol… ANYWAYS… I have a direct bank account with Cap One and ING Direct. I like the Cap One bank account because they reimburse ATM fees , but only up to 4 times a month…i love ING Direct because its connected to my investment account with share builder and i can go to 7-11 and get snacks and get a withdrawal…So my question is what happens to the people with both checking accounts? Will they remain separate? Will one be closed or will they be combined? … I love the anticipation… all you talking like this is a bad thing, I think is gonna take over the banking world…I even bet it will remain monthly fee free.


  22. Hi Gary, I’m impressed that you seem to have managed to combine your CapitalOne & ING accounts to maximize the best of both banks. I think the strong opinions (mine included) stem from our wandering through the maze of banks trying to find ones that meet our needs without having to also take the bad customer service, high fees, high maintenace charges & basic all around mediocrity. Over the last 10 years I have had checking accounts with Wells Fargo, Midwest Bank, Academy Bank, Regions Bank and a savings & loan, the name of which I no longer recall. then I found ING Direct. It sounded too good to be true but why not try? I had finally found a bank that met my needs, was truly free and had GREAT customer service! That was almost 5 years ago and during that time I have not had one single complaint. Now THAT is somethng most people cannot claim. Of course all good things must end but in my mind I cannot imagine a less compatible bank to take over ING Direct than CapOne.
    Yesterday I completed the process of switching my direct deposits, etc over to my new Ally Checking account. My old ING Debit Card will be added to my collection of other cards from all the other banks I tried but eventually abandoned.
    I wish every one the best of luck regardless if you stay or go. Cheers Erich

  23. Ally Bank is the pre-Capital One version of ING Direct – I was pleasantly surprised to find them. I’ve moved my accounts over, still maintain a savings account at ING to pay the Electric Orange mortgage.

    There are some differences in the ING and ALLY models, some good some bad –
    ING advantages –
    – can close Savings account online if you have multiple ones, for example
    – Nice “pending” activity section when you drill down into an account

    ALLY advantages –
    – can link to external savings in addition to checking accounts (maybe ING can do that now, but I was not aware of it if so)
    – chat (good for me, I was used to using ING, had to ask them some questions along the way)

    Good luck to all!
    Cheers –

  24. I have a savings account with capital one and they have been good to me. I had a question and an american answered and helped me quite a bit. I am looking to open another account because their interest rate just dropped from 1.01% to .85%. I still get my 10% quarterly bonus on my interest which is a nice added bonus and there are NO FEES. I keep seeing everyone say they are going to charge fees and lower the interest rates once they merge, but they know how to play the online banking game. I plan on keeping my Capital One account open, but I’m pondering if I should open up another account with Sallie Mae (1.10%), American Express (1%), or ING Direct (1%). I was thinking Ally (.99%), but they do a hard credit check prior to the account opening and I have 3 hard inquiries so I cannot get another one until May without reducing my credit score. I think I will open an account with ING Direct, but I don’t know if its a bad idea to have a savings account with BOTH banks when they really start to merge. I know most people dont like CapOne because of credit card dealings, but I never had a card with them. My sister has had one with them for years and hasn’t had a problem. (She pays on time and keeps a low balance, never extra fees which are probably mentioned in the fine print.) My boyfriend has had a car loan with CapOne since Nov 2006 and they have been very good to him also. Even when he was late they worked with him and didn’t charge any late fees even though he fell over a month behind. Those are the reasons I opened my savings wth CapOne and haven’t been let down. The money shows up next day in the account, but it has a 5 day hold before you can use it. I’ve seen this at many online banks, but I wouldn’t transfer it if I needed it in 5 days anyway. My online savings easily links to my accounts here at my brick-and-mortar bank and once signed in I can manage my non capital one account transfers in the click of a button. They also have up to 4 beneficiary spots (maybe more if you ask) for your account and they send you deposit slips just in case you aren’t near a computer with internet and have to deposit a check through the mail. I’m optimistic about the Capital One and ING merge! So, do you think I would be better off opening my second savings with ING Direct, American Express, or Sallie Mae?

  25. I suspected there would be Capital One pluggers to try to mitigate the damage from their reputation and its effect on ING Direct. But alas, good luck to you as well!

  26. Thanks.. I wouldn’t quite consider myself a plugger. I could care less about CapOnes rep, I just didn’t know if anyone had even used their banking, because I like it. I was just stating that I have had good experiences with their banking so far. The CapOne credit cards gave them a bad rep, but I never had one maybe that’s why I gave their banking a chance. I don’t think anyone could mitigate the damage, just sharing my experiences as to why I went to them. They dropped their interest rate last Wednesday from 1.01% to .85% with the 10% bonus, which is why I want to open another account elsewhere to put the majority of my money. I want to use ING, but I don’t know if its a bad idea to have a savings account with both merging companies? I also wonder, how come no one uses Sallie Mae?

  27. Right, right 😉 Everyone has a job to do, no worries …

  28. The last couple of hundred leaves ING on Monday in disappointment with the change.

    Capital One is a once bitten, twice shy company, and not just from MY perspective as a saver, but, from the thousands of dissatisfied consumers who have left complaints about the predatory practices of Capital One, whose credit-card arm was infamous for making their profits not from “simple” lending, making loans and charging interest, but by “gotcha” charges and fees, and continually re-marketing to low-income and disadvantaged consumers.

    No, thank you.

    Note — Debt counseling firms and consolidation agencies report the worst success with Capital One being willing to settle on accounts. They seem to have adopted a sue-first, ask-questions-later policy, alone among the major credit card issuers.

  29. read this people that think the rates will change

    Capital One said it won’t change a thing for customers at much-beloved ING Direct, responding to consumer groups worried that its acquisition of the online bank would translate into new and higher fees.

    The Federal Reserve approved the deal on Tuesday, nearly a year after Capital One bid to buy ING Direct for $9.2 billion.

    When the acquisition is finalized later this week, Capital One will become the fifth-largest consumer bank by deposit size, controlling more than $200 billion.

    “A concern from the beginning was that ING would go away and the bank that people liked as an Internet bank would be replaced by fees and other bad consumer practices” from Capital One, said Alan Fischer, executive director of the California Reinvestment Coalition, one of the consumer groups outspoken about the deal.

    A Capital One spokeswoman said in an email Wednesday that the bank will not change policies at ING. “Account servicing and functionality will remain the same,” said spokeswoman Amanda Landers. “Customers will still enjoy the competitive rates, no fees and the same experience they’ve come to know and love from ING Direct.”

    • I received something similar from ING. I hope it’s true. I’d really love to see what I love about ING combined with physical branch locations. If they do things well, CapOne can really position themselves as the go-to bank for those fed up with major banks these days.

  30. I’ve had accounts with both for seven years. Been nothing but happy with ING, but Capital One has left a lot to be desired. I just can’t see myself doing daily banking or retirement investing with C1, so I’ve already moved by checking account and IRA.

  31. so what are the cheapest trading sites for online brokerage accounts? Sharebuilder was not supercheap unless you accepted their Tuesday trades at 4.95 at whatever the NYSE was that day. If I set a price limit I paid 9.95 to purchase and all sales were 19.95 per sale. Not the cheapest of the brokerages online. But the only one I have any experience with. Where are other people going with their stox?

  32. Add me to the list of Capital One haters. I cannot in good conscience do anything to enrich one of the architects of the Great Recession not to mention one of the most predatory credit card issuers to ever have existed in this country. I have my personal “black list” of large financial institution with whom I will not do business and Capital One is in my top three.

    Maybe, as some have suggested, they are turning over a new leaf, but it took increased government regulation to help them find their conscience. I find it very hard to believe that this particular tiger has changed its stripes.

What Do You Think?