US commercial lending: ING chases ‘huge opportunities’ in US
Foreign banks can tap energy boom; infrastructure and agriculture also in focus.
ING, once known for its insurance and online banking in the US, is aiming to become a leading commercial lender in the country’s energy, infrastructure and agriculture sectors. It has opened an office in Chicago, adding to its locations in Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York, Houston and Dallas.
Bill Connelly, chief executive of ING Commercial Banking, says: “We see huge opportunities in the US and are growing our business. [Not only have] we opened offices in Chicago, but we are starting with Commodity Trade Finance in New York – a business we are very familiar with and have been doing for a long period.
“Given the huge opportunities that we see, I would not be surprised if in five year’s time we are double the size that we are today.”
ING is riding the wave of energy lending now that the US has switched from being a predominant importer of gas to an exporter. “There are lot of opportunities for pipelines and terminals and export systems to Mexico where there is a huge demand for natural gas right now,” says Richard Ennis, the bank’s head of natural resources America.