ING Group has reported that its net profit for the first quarter of 2008 declined 15.2% to E1.59 billion compared to the same quarter of 2007.

For the quarter, underlying profit before tax from insurance decreased 31.2% while banking increased slightly by 1.5%. Net inflow of client balances reached E34 billion with total client balances of E1,456 billion. New life sales up 23.1%, excluding currency impacts, and value of new business reached E20 million.

According to ING, the downturn in financial markets in the first quarter led to a decline in its earnings despite strong commercial growth momentum across the group.

Michel Tilmant, CEO of ING, said: While the credit and liquidity crisis deepened in the first quarter, extending the disruption of global financial markets, ING’s impairments on pressurized asset classes remained limited to E55 million after taxes. ING’s capital position remained strong, with key ratios within target and a spare leverage capacity of E6.2 billion at the end of March.