Capital One Acquires ING Direct

Capital One Acquires ING Direct

Once this deal becomes final, ING Direct accounts will be converted to Capital One accounts. If you're an ING Direct customer, here's what you need to know.

Recently, Capital One announced it was acquiring ING Direct to make it the country's fifth-largest bank (measured by deposits), according to this Washington Post article. The acquisition will potentially allow Capital One to issue more loans and grow in size even more, since it is now able to enter new markets. The deal could close by the end of 2011 or in early 2012.

ING Direct is one of the pioneers of online banking, and is well-known for offering competitive interest rates while providing customers with low-to-no maintenance fees and high levels of customer service. Many loyal ING Direct customers are outraged at this acquisition, as this New York Times blog reports. So if you're an ING customer, how will it affect you?

No changes to your account will happen until the deal is finalized at the end of 2011 (or in early 2012). A Capital One representative that was interviewed for the New York Times article indicates that they “have no plans to make any significant changes. ING customers should expect the same great customer experience and the ‘status quo’ from ING for the foreseeable future.” Capital One also stresses its commitment to sustain ING Direct’s high level of customer service.

Only time will tell whether or not Capital One will be able to satisfy its newly acquired customers in the same way ING Direct did. If you're a current ING Direct customer, you may want to ride out the transition to see how it goes before determining whether or not you would be satisfied with your new Capital One account.  However, brand (and bank philosophy) is of great importance to some people, and some consumers will be immediately uncomfortable with the change. If you are one of those consumers, the good news is that you have some time to research other banking options available to you and determine whether or not you want to remain in a Capital One account, or if you want to try a new bank.

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