Dutch group opens virtual bank in Canada

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Amsterdam-based banking giant ING Group is moving into the potentially lucrative Canadian market with the opening of a virtual bank called ING Direct.

Positioned as a money-saving alternative to Canada's major banks, ING Direct this week broke outdoor, print and TV ads from Garneau Wurstlin Philp, Toronto, using "Save your money" as the slogan. Among the bank's products is a no-fee savings account that pays 4% interest a year, nearly double that of the five major competitors that dominate financial services in Canada.

ING Direct plans to expand to the rest of Canada from its initial launch in the province of Ontario, where it offers savings accounts, term deposits and retirement savings plans.

Copyright April 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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