Capital One Financial Corp. (COF), this year’s top performer in the KBW Bank Index, is nearing a deal to buy ING Groep NV (INGA)’s U.S. online bank for about $9 billion in cash and stock, said people with knowledge of the matter.

The companies may reach an agreement for ING Direct USA as soon as today, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the negotiations are private. The talks may still fall apart, said the people, adding that General Electric Co. (GE) also made a bid. Capital One may raise $2 billion to complete the deal, one person said.

ING, the biggest Dutch financial-services firm, is under order from the European Union to sell the U.S. unit as a condition for a government bailout during the financial crisis. Amsterdam-based ING spoke with firms including CIT Group Inc. (CIT), Ally Financial Inc. and Citigroup Inc. (C)’s private-label credit- card business, people familiar with the matter have said.

“We believe that ING Direct USA is a valuable asset,” Duncan Russell and Marine Collas, London-based analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co., said in a June 7 report. “It has shown a very strong ability to build deposits and these deposits have proven to be sticky despite the financial crisis, implying that the model works.”