NETHERLANDS/GREECE – Dutch financial group, ING, has entered into a strategic alliance with Athens based Greek retail banking group, Piraeus Bank, allowing ING to become a “prominent” player in the Greek bancassurance market and extending into the fields of employee benefits and pensions.

The joint venture will be branded ‘ING (lion) Piraeus’, with ING taking a 50.1% majority shareholding to Piraeus’s 49.9%.

The agreement sees Piraeus’s network of 300 branches combine with the 2,500 strong agency network of NN Greece, part of the ING insurance agency group.

The deal means that the two companies together will take an 8% share of the Greek asset management market.
The two companies’ insurance and banking activities are complementary, with ING already in charge of 14% of the Greek life insurance market, whilst Piraeus accounts for 8% of its banking market.

The relationship will be cemented later on by a planned mutual cross shareholding between ING Greece and Piraeus.