Most UK savings are UK regulated. This helps you keep tabs on your savings and offers some form of protection. Foreign banks such as ING Direct are not UK regulated. For protection, you therefore have to rely on its home government which is the Netherlands. Another factor to go by is its CDS rating number which is relatively low compared to other institutions. It therefore isn't very safe. Point to note, the best thing to do is to spread your money across different institution for safety purposes. In case one bank encounters hardships, you'll have other accounts to depend on.