ING Seeking Buying for Private Banking Unit

NEW YORK (Reuters) – ING Groep NV (ING.AS) is seeking buyers for its private-banking business in Europe and Asia, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation.

The sale process is at an early stage and any deal is likely several months away, the newspaper said. Potential bidders for the division, which could be worth more than $1 billion, may include Credit Suisse (CSGN.VX), Standard Chartered PLC (STAN.L), as well as banks in Singapore and Australia, the paper said, citing people close to the process.

ING, the biggest financial group in the Netherlands, was formed in 1991 when Nationale-Nederlanden and NMB Postbank Groep merged.

The group, which has been loss-making since last July and got 10 billion euros of state aid last October, is working on a program to reduce risks, raise up to 8 billion euros from asset sales and exit 10 out of 48 countries where it operates.

ING was not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Megan Davies; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)