Dutch banking group ING Group has reported net profit of €750m for the fourth quarter of 2016, down 8.4% compared to €819m in the year ago period.

Underlying net profit stood at €1.38bn, a 68% surge from €822m in the fourth quarter of 2015.

The group's total underlying income was €4.46bn, a rise of 10.3% from €4.04bn in the year ago quarter.

Operating expenses was €2.37bn, a decrease of 6.7% compared with €2.54 a year ago.

ING Group CEO Ralph Hamers said: “ING has made significant progress in accelerating our Think Forward strategy, while consistently delivering on our customer promise. Our success in providing an exceptional banking experience is evident in the strong set of commercial and financial results that we posted for both the fourth quarter of 2016 and for the full year.

“In 2016, we introduced a steady wave of insightful fi nancial tools to make banking easier and more accessible for customers, who are increasingly digital and self-directed. We also expanded the breadth of our innovation capabilities through ongoing internal efforts and by nurturing more than 70 active fi ntech partnerships. These and other initiatives supported customers’ needs and drove our robust commercial growth, while underscoring our track record as a leader in digital banking.”

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