ING DIRECT opens new space in the heart of downtown Toronto

Bank's Café concept designed to educate savers and facilitate co-working

TORONTO, April 27 /CNW/ - On the bank's 14th anniversary in Canada, ING DIRECT is expanding its presence with the grand opening of a brand new, flagship Café in downtown Toronto. Located at 221 Yonge Street, in a heritage building that has been fully restored and renovated, the three-floor, open-concept retail space is the first of its kind in Toronto, and demonstrates an innovative approach to banking and educating Canadians about money.

The Café concept is a unique feature of the ING DIRECT brand, and one of many things that distinguishes it from traditional banks.  The Cafés are designed to empower Canadians to make their own financial decisions, without line-ups, tellers or pens on ropes, and make banking as simple as having a conversation, on the same side of the table, over a cup of coffee.

Features of the Café include free Wi-Fi; a high-tech co-working space that provides access to videoconferencing and webinar systems; a large, free meeting space for community groups; use of iPads® to conduct banking transactions online; and several environmentally friendly and sustainable design elements, including a vertical garden.

"Like the direct banking model we pioneered 14 years ago, the ING DIRECT Cafés challenge conventions of banking, redefine the role of banks and acknowledge shifts in technology and attitudes in our society," said Peter Aceto, President and CEO of ING DIRECT. "We are thrilled to continue to break the bank branch model with this unique, community-oriented space in the heart of downtown Toronto, and we welcome the opportunity to have conversations about saving money, to inspire and unite entrepreneurs, and to promote retailers who share our environmental, collaborative and innovative values."

The first floor is fully staffed with a team that knows the ins and outs of ING DIRECT's products, web site and suite of mobile apps that give people the ability to create their own personal branch in their pocket. It also includes:

  • Free Wi-Fi and the latest technology to facilitate online and mobile banking or just to catch up on the latest local news. 
  • Opportunities to learn about and support local businesses and non-profits through the Saver's Friends program. ING DIRECT will feature a different local partner each month and provide great savings on one feature product.  100% of the proceeds from these items will be given to local charities.
  • A signature coffee, tea and juice experience, with all proceeds given to local charities.

The second floor, called Network Orange, is a high-tech co-working space where independent businesspeople from various industries and disciplines can work on their ideas as part of a unique community. This is ideal for companies in their early stages, established small businesses, individual entrepreneurs, or for employees of large organizations who wish to share space with others while finding common grounds to partner and expand.  Network Orange members have access to several packages of meeting room and workspace time, with all proceeds donated to local charities. There is also a daily drop-in rate for the occasional worker that needs a flexible and creative space. Network Orange includes:

  • Three high-tech meeting spaces, featuring LED displays, webinar-ready video systems and digital whiteboards.
  • A large meeting space, for up to 40 people, free for Toronto community groups, student organizations, non-profit groups, brainstorms, book clubs, and entrepreneur's meetings.  Space can be booked online at: ingdirect.ca/en/networkorange

The third floor is a satellite location for ING DIRECT staff to work.

Aceto said: "Our Cafés have become a retail destination in Canada because they are as different and unique as their communities. In Montreal, Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto, the Cafés bring the ING DIRECT brand to life and ensure we are always close to the pulse of the local market and the competition so that we will continue to be leaders in understanding the perceptions of money across Canada, advocating for value and educating today's generation and those to come."

To promote the Café and show that saving money is about more than just how you do your banking, ING DIRECT is hosting '7 Days of Saving' at the Café during the week of May 2-8, 2011. The bank has partnered with local retailers to offer discounts and free information sessions on everyday ways to save including everything from how to sew button, tips and tricks for taking better photos, making natural cleaning products at home and more. For more information visit, ingdirect.ca/en/networkorange

About ING DIRECT
ING DIRECT is Canada's leading direct bank with over 1.7 million Clients and more than $37.6 billion in total assets. ING DIRECT gives the power of saving to all Canadians by offering high-value, simple products such as high interest savings accounts with no fees or service charges, low rates on mortgages and a no fee daily chequing account that actually pays interest. Low cost, index based mutual funds are sold through ING DIRECT Funds Limited. ING DIRECT has been operating in Canada since 1997, and paid more than $4.5 billion in interest to clients. ING DIRECT is open for banking 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at ingdirect.ca, on mobile devices at m.ingdirect.ca or by calling 1-800 ING DIRECT (1-800-464-3743).

Follow Peter Aceto on Twitter at: Twitter.com/CEO_INGDIRECT
And find ING DIRECT at: Facebook.com/SuperStarSaver; Twitter.com/SuperStarSaver; YouTube.com/SuperStarSaver

iPad® is a trademark of Apple Inc.

SOURCE ING DIRECT

For further information:

MEDIA CONTACTS:  

Lisa Naccarato
ING DIRECT
lnaccarato@ingdirect.ca
416-758-5072 (office)
416-885-0348 (mobile)

Amanda Petriglia
ING DIRECT
apetriglia@ingdirect.ca 
647-259-5797

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