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ING Group Cutting 750 US Jobs

Dutch bank and insurance company ING Group said it will cut 750 jobs in the United States, about 7 percent of the company's U.S. work force.

Affected employees are being told this week of the layoffs, which will be completed by the end of the first quarter, ING spokesman Dana Ripley said.

"ING regrets having to make these difficult decisions but unfortunately, the current weak environment has required us to align the size of our business with the expected business activity for 2009," Ripley said. "We remain confident in the future direction of our U.S. business."

In addition to the layoffs, about 170 vacant positions will not be filled.

The company employs about 11,000 workers in the United States.

The job reductions span all U.S. business units and locations, Ripley said.

ING Group is based in Amsterdam. It's U.S. headquarters is in New York. Other locations include Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Washington and Des Moines, Iowa.

The company's banking, insurance and financial services segments offer annuities, retirement plans, life insurance, mutual funds, banking, financial planning and reinsurance.

ING was among the top 20 financial services companies globally in terms of market capitalization as recent as last March, but its stock has lost nearly three quarters of its value since then.

ING shares fell 56 cents, or 5 percent, to $10.67 in midday trading. They've traded between $6.37 and $40.67 in the past 52 weeks.

In November European Union regulators approved a 10 billion euro ($12.5 billion) emergency capital injection into ING Group. The Dutch government's infusion of cash was intended to prevent a run on the bank and insurance giant.