The ING Bank Canada was a division of the Dutch ING Group, originating in the Netherlands, up until recently.
In actual fact, the ING Group sold off their Canadian banking interests to the Bank of Nova Scotia in November of 2012. They are still using the ING Direct Bank name, but it's expected that they will phase that out over the next year or so.
The ING Group never really liked referring to themselves as a bank anyway, due to their unique style of financial services. They preferred to adapt the name of "ING Direct Canada."
The reason for this distinction is because they were offering direct banking services along with a few other financial options. If you’re not familiar with direct banking, let me explain further.
The direct bank concept was partially realized by traditional banks with the advent of the internet. By assigning a specific set of operations to a virtual entity, banks could cut operational costs.
Add to this the fact that more and more people would rather take care of their banking business with online transactions.
As a result, more brick and mortar establishments transitioned to providing a virtual counterpart to their operations.
Simply put, a direct bank is kind of like an online-only bank. There are no local branches. You open accounts online or over the phone and deal with all of your banking and investment needs in the same way.
One of the big draws of such a system is that higher interest rates on savings accounts can be offered to customers as a result of the low overhead costs. The fact that they do pass on these savings to their clients and customers resulted in customer loyalty in a big way.
ING Bank Canada made available a range of other financial services, too. Investment advice, loans, mortgages, life insurance, and car insurance are just a few of them.
When ING Group began selling off their foreign assets, Scotiabank acquired the banking sector of ING Canada, but they didn't purchase the ING car insurance interests.
Instead, ING Direct auto insurance was bought up by Intact Financial, also known as Intact Insurance. This simply means that if you want to retain your past ING Direct auto insurance policy, you'll be dealing with Intact in future. Of course, new ING car insurance customers will also have to approach Intact for insurance quotes going forward. You can obtain them online through Kanetix.
Back to the matter of ING Bank Canada. I just wanted to leave you with one little warning. Since ING did so well with the whole virtual banking concept, a lot of similar type virtual banks have sprung up. They are not all as reliable!
Just be sure that the company you are dealing with is not some fly by night outfit that doesn't end up stealing your money and/or your identity. If you're going to dive into the world of online banking, do your best to deal with one of the more well known and reputable financial institutions.
The truth is that even the best banks are susceptible to complete financial ruin these days. You only have to pay a little bit of attention to what is going on around the world to understand that, but your chances of security are usually higher with one of the big guys.