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ING acquires British cash deposits held in Heritable Bank and Kaupthing Edge

Savings bank ING Direct is to buy more than £3 billion of British cash deposits held in Icelandic banks Heritable Bank and Kaupthing Edge.

The Dutch savings bank says it will acquire 160,000 saving accounts from Kaupthing Edge and 22,200 from Heritable.

Heritable Bank, the mortgage and savings bank owned by Landsbanki, has now been closed by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). The watchdog says the bank can no longer continue to operate under it rules and has therefore placed it in default. Like savings bank Icesave, Heritable is owned by the now-nationalised Icelandic bank Landsbanki.

"ING Direct is in a position of strength. We are very pleased to have been able to take such rapid and decisive action that has provided Heritable Bank's customers, and those of Kaupthing Edge, with the reassurances they need," ING Direct UK Chief Executive Johan de Wit said in a statement.

ING is one of the world’s largest financial institutions with assets of over £1 Trillion and 85 million customers in Europe, US, Canada, Latin America, Asia and Australia.

"This is the right course of action to protect savers, ensure financial stability, and safeguard the interests of the taxpayer," the Treasury said.

Chancellor Alistair Darling said earlier on Wednesday that the UK government would pursue Iceland's obligations to depositors.