In October, he put forth The Declaration of Financial Independence, and today, he's addressing the country's current economic situation.
Economic Situation- A letter to our Customers from the CEO of Savings, Arkadi Kuhlmann
As we enter the final few months of 2008 I want to thank you for your continued confidence in ING DIRECT. Over 700,000 new Savers have joined us so far this year strengthening the bank and their own financial footing through our savings, home mortgage and ShareBuilder investment accounts. Despite a challenging economic climate our Customer base is 7 million strong and growing.
The consequences of the mortgage meltdown on financial institutions and individuals continue to erode many American dreams. We will continue to stress the right way to achieve home ownership – buy only as much house as you can afford and pay off your mortgage as fast as possible. In return for good credit and prioritizing home investment, ING DIRECT mortgage Customers are rewarded with exceptional rates and a transparent, direct administration process. Rather than selling your mortgage to another bank or investor the minute you get it, we keep your mortgage and service it here. Doing so gives us flexibility to find innovative solutions to help Customers keep their homes during unexpected financial downturns.
While we don’t have an Orange crystal ball we do expect the economy to remain fragile through 2009. The best course of action for our Customers is to be disciplined: avoid splurges; identify and cut out unnecessary expenses; save for what’s essential; and hedge against these tough times. We can all benefit by developing good spending habits: confront — and cut up — credit cards; use your home as a savings vehicle — not as an ATM; and establish and contribute regularly to an IRA or 401(k).
In this difficult financial environment, we work tirelessly to safeguard your deposits, mortgages and investments. Importantly, your deposits are FDIC-insured according to its limits and your investments are SIPC-protected. Our security processes are the best in the business and are in place to protect your money from those with bad intentions. While we are constantly vigilant, we need your help. Keep passwords to yourself. Never give personal information through an email. And always install both the latest antivirus and anti-malware software on your home computer.
Thank you for your continued trust in ING DIRECT. We will not waver in our promise to provide you with great value, service, security and convenience.
CEO of Savings
This is one of the reasons customers stick with ING Direct despite better rates from other banks. ING Direct seems to care about its customers and has their best interests in mind.