Monday, October 27, 2008

ING Direct appears on Yahoo!, says it has avoided the mortgage crisis by keeping control of its own mortgages


Today on Yahoo! the CEO of ING Direct (Arkadi Kuhlman), which started as an online bank 10 years ago, discussed its policies as a mortgage banker in this video. He says that ING Direct has had fewer than 100 foreclosures and does not securitize its mortgages or make loans to unqualified borrowers. The link is here.

The interviewer noted that most homeowners with subprime mortgages were actually paying off their notes, and that they had been severely damaged by the 6% or so who could not. Kuhlman, in giving the interview, noted that American business has become reckless in taking care of its customers’ welfare financially, in comparison to taking care of customers in other areas. He sees care in lending as a customer service and basic business ethics issue.

Arkadi Kuhlman and Bruce Philip have authored a book “The Orange Code: How ING Direct Succeeded By Being A Rebel With a Cause”, published by Wiley, available today, Oct. 27, 2008. This book is easy to look up on Amazon but looks a little pricey. ING Bank first set up shop in St. Cloud, MN, a small city about 70 miles NW of Minneapolis on I-94.

The stock of the parent company in the Netherlands, ING Groep, has been hammered recently, as has almost all banking and financial stocks in the US and Europe. This sounds like a case of “corporate reputation defense.”

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