WILMINGTON, Del. — Despite grim news from its parent company that 7,000 job cuts are scheduled, ING DIRECT said it is moving forward with its plans to grow ShareBuilder Corp. On Jan. 26, ING Group said “persistently challenging economic and market conditions” have forced the global financial institution to reduce its workforce by 7,000 and to drastically scale back expenses. The company’s CEO, Michel Tilmant, also resigned last week. ING Group has 112,000 employees in 50 countries, including more than 10,000 in the United States. ShareBuilder had 125 credit union clients when it was acquired by ING DIRECT in 2007. That number has since dropped to 50 as the online broker continues to make adjustments with its co-branded partnerships. ING DIRECT Director of Media Relations Cathy McFarlane said the company is committed to ShareBuilder. “We do not plan any reduction in workforce at ShareBuilder,” McFarlane said. “Those people are lean and mean already and they’re doing a great job and their success is very important to us.” McFarlane said going forward, ING DIRECT plans to continue to grow ShareBuilder’s business. “Actually, we would like to continue growing at the same rate as we did in 2008. Our target is 20% to 30% growth for ShareBuilder this year.” –[email protected]

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