Dutch banking giant ING said Friday it aims to cut expenses by 300 million euros ($385 million) by 2015 while the outlook remains difficult for the business.
"Procurement initiatives are expected to save 300 million euros per year by 2015 but further structural efficiency improvements and IT investments will be needed to reach ING's long-term cost ratio target (of 50 percent)," the Amsterdam-based group said in a statement.
ING chief executive Jan Hommen said the group needed "to move beyond simple cost cuts and focus on achieving true operational excellence."
This year and 2013, ING said it would concentrate on paying off a 10-billion-euro cash injection it received from the government in October 2008 at the height of the global financial crisis.
"We still have to pay three billion euros with a premium, to a total value of 4.5 billion euros," a spokesman said, adding that ING wanted to repay the loan "as soon as possible."
The group will only start paying dividends once repayment is completed.
"In 2011, market circumstances became increasingly difficult and volatile and we expect that to remain the case in the near future," Hommen cautioned.