Wednesday, September 19, 2007

ING Direct's CEO Rulez

I just happened to be flipping channels last night, and got lucky and caught Nightline's interview with ING Direct CEO Arkadi Kuhlman:

ABC News: CEO Who Turns Customers Away

I know some folks are down on ING Direct, but I still use my Orange Savings (review) every month for my Freedom Account transactions. I've never had so much as Problem One. And not a month goes by that I don't thank them for starting up the whole online-savings thing, and making life just a little tougher on the stodgy bricks 'n' mortar banks.

Anyhow, the more I hear from ING Direct CEO Arkadi Kuhlman, the more I admire him. That's a guy I'd love to work for, or with ... or whatever.

I'm not going to give someone a house because they've got a paycheck. What does it make sense to anybody that you can get a $400,000 house to live in, just because you've got a paycheck? You've got no equity. When you have hairdressers one day becoming mortgage brokers the next day, did anybody think that was going to be a good deal?
— Arkadi Kuhlman

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— Posted by Michael @ 9:28 AM


That was a fantastic article. Thanks for linking to it.


you've obviously missed his other comments about not caring about other banks offering higher interest rates on savings accounts. frankly, the ceo sounds like he doesn't care much about anything at all.

he may find it immoral to make 21% off of credit cards, but he has no problem making prime minus, 4.3% now, when everyone else was making less (i.e. prime minus 5-5.3%). ING was very quick in decreasing the savings interest rate, yet hasn't budged on debt interest rates (i.e. mortgage, HELOCs).

his whole argument about ARMS is rather silly and highly contradictory, especially since it is the only mortgage product INGdirect offers. Not everyone should get into an arm, as the ceo suggests.



I understand that ING's savings rates don't keep up with the other OSA rates, and that they're quick to drop rates when the Fed notches rates downward (or whatever). But they were the first mover in this field, and because of that they enjoy some "cushion" in what they can do with rates. I can't imagine how much $$$ they've lost in deposits because of the low (relatively speaking) rates they pay ... but apparently they've found their "happy medium."

No matter what, ING Direct is still a bank -- and they're in this to make a profit. Whether or not they've dropped HELOC or mortgage rates in lockstep with their savings rates doesn't much phase me. I don't pretend to know their business models and margins. If they're too late in adjusting these things, the market itself will make them pay in some form or another.

Now, his argument about ARMs ... that part I don't really follow. Like you, I certainly DON'T think ARMs are appropriate for everyone.


I am really impressed with the statement of CEO Arkadi Kuhlman, And I also think it is really great to work under such professionals.
cash advance


I have an ING direct mortgage. It is a good company to work with.

My only problem is that they take lots of time to update my account. Some times I have paid two installments but I still see the old balance. This makes me very worrried. I have never being late in payments. I hope ING also do the same thing updating our accounts. Don't be late updating the accounts.
If all the other big banks can do it "you sure can do it". Please update the accounts within a day.


Arkadi is a smart man. He was a client of mine about 15 years ago. I can see how his philosphy has keep them in good shape while other banks have gone down hill.


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Thoughts on my personal finances, goals, experiences, motivations, and accomplishments (or lack thereof).

My financial life began turning around when I took responsibility for it.
— Dave Ramsey


Start (2005-12): ~$21,900
Currently: $0
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Savings Goal: $15,000
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