NETHERLANDS - ING Investment Management has signed a letter of intent for the Bank of New York covering to provide middle office trade and processing outsourcing.

The deal covers E67bn in assets of ING IM's operations in the Hague, the Bank of New York said in a statement. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“The Bank of New York, through its proprietary outsourcing business, BNY SmartSource, will assume responsibility for operational functions in the trade lifecycle, post execution through to settlement,” it said. The implementation is set to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2005.

"We were looking for a provider that could offer superior technology and service in meeting our requirements,” ING IM chief executive Angelien Kemna was quoted as saying.

“Following a review of the services available, it was clear that The Bank of New York would provide us with a strong platform and thorough support for our business processes."

"This is a ground-breaking deal and the first for the Bank of New York in the Dutch market,” said Tim Keaney, head of the bank in Europe.

“We have experienced increased interest for this service and have had a very successful year bringing on new business, as demonstrated by our recent mandate by RCM (UK) Ltd, part of the Allianz Dresdner Asset Management Group, to offer a middle and back office outsourcing service in the UK."