01/10/2012 05:17 pm ET

ING Direct Cafes: Cutting Edge Banking Or Scheme To Avoid Regulation?

From the street, the new San Francisco location of the Internet banking giant ING Direct U.S.A. does not look like a place where financial transactions are made.

The three-story glass-and-steel storefront near Union Square has no windows where tellers take deposits and dispense cash and no desks for loan officers. Instead, there are 13 flat-screen televisions; beanbag chairs; a deli counter that sells coffee, cookies and sandwiches; and plenty of tables and outlets for customers using the free wireless Internet access.

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