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Wholesale Banking

Dutch companies investing in growth

An ING survey has revealed the post-pandemic strategic priorities of 77 of the biggest Dutch companies. And at the top of their list are digitalisation and sustainability.

Based on conversations with our Wholesale Banking clients in the Netherlands, we set out to discover what CEOs, CFOs and COOs find important now the Covid-19 crisis is slowing and they can start planning for the future. Initiated by ING Media Relations Netherlands, the survey was carried out with an independent research company and input from Pim van der Velden, head of Wholesale Banking in the Netherlands, and our chief economist in the Netherlands, Marieke Blom. It covered all sectors.

The findings into the companies' post-pandemic business plans reveal renewed optimism for the future.

Across the board, their top strategic priority is to improve digital offerings through better data analysis and minimise exposure to digital risk. Sustainability comes a close second on their priority list, with 69% of respondents saying they will be accelerating investments in sustainability.

The survey also highlighted companies' plans to invest in growth again, with top-level managers saying they expect to see an increase in acquisitions this year. It revealed their biggest financial challenge too: paying back deferred taxes. There are also concerns about inflation, with most companies expecting to pass on the cost of rising prices to customers.

The survey results are in line with what we had already concluded from our conversations with individual clients, and also tie in with our own strategic priorities around sustainability and innovation.

The findings of the survey were reported in the Dutch business media following a press release, including an in-depth interview with Pim van der Velden in leading financial newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad (requires login, in Dutch).