Dutch financial services provider ING Group has received a license from the Russian regulatory authorities, which will allow the group to commence life insurance activities in the country.

The life insurance license is in line with the group’s current strategy to expand the scope of its operations in Russia.

Jacques de Vaucleroy, executive board member of ING Group and responsible for insurance in Europe, said: Our aim is to build a leading position in Russia. On the back of economic growth and political stability we are convinced that we can make a positive contribution to the development of the Russian life insurance market. ING has a broad experience in setting up new life insurance operations around the world.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Finance Corporation, which is part of the World Bank Group, propose to each take a 10% participation in the new venture.

Dr Olga Ruf-Fiedler, president of ING Life Insurance Russia, said: Our goal is to quickly expand our regional footprint by offering competitive life insurance products and providing a high level of client service through a network of professional financial consultants.

The Netherlands-based group expects to launch its operations in Q3 2007 and will complement ING’s existing banking and pension offering in Russia, where it has had a presence since 1994.