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'We'll ignore low oil prices for now': ING

Dutch lender ING is weathering the storm in financial markets, the bank's chief financial officer told CNBC after issuing better-than-expected earnings.

Netherlands' largest lender issuing fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday, showing growth in its retail operations, with mortgage lending and its German operations strong.

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Underlying net result was 822 million euros ($911 million), from 548 million euros in the same period a year earlier. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had seen underlying net result at 765 million euros.

The results come amid a volatile time for markets, not least of all for European banks like ING, hit by a crisis of confidence over a China slowdown, negative interest rates and plunging oil prices.

Patrick Flynn, the chief financial officer of ING, told CNBC that market volatility had not affected the bank too much, however.

"It does seem that the market has got itself into a downward spiral which is hard to fathom sometimes and we would assume that falling oil prices would be a stimulant to the economy. But for ING, our results are very strong and it's not really impacting us," he told CNBC on Thursday. "So we'll ignore the oil price for now and just stick to the fundamentals."

"We've been managing through a low (interest) rate environment for some time and we're actively managing our deposit rates and we're also looking to optimize our balance sheet, i.e. to increase the amount of lending," he added.

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