ANZ results: bank admits a “challenging” year for reputation

by Ksenia Stepanova04 Nov 2019

ANZ has announced its full year results for the 12 months to 30 September 2019, and has recorded a statutory net profit after tax (NPAT) of $1,825 million– an 8% decrease on its record-breaking profit of $1,986 million last year.

The cash NPAT was $1,933, up by 2% on 2018, and was fuelled by ANZ’s acquisition of OnePath Life and its 25% share in Paymark Limited. Customer deposits were up by 5%, and gross lending went up by 4%.

Expenses recorded a 5% increase due to increased compliance and regulation costs.

Acting CEO Antonia Watson said the year was a “transformative” one for the banking sector, but admitted that the year had been a challenging one from a reputational perspective.

“While reviews by the FMA and RBNZ concluded that the widespread misconduct issues in Australia were not found in New Zealand, they helped us take stock of where we are today, what we’re doing well and what we could do better for our customers, and we’re making changes,” Watson said.

“Beyond those reviews we have faced our own challenges. Despite our tough year, our people have continued to put our customers first every day.”

Watson said that ANZ New Zealand had continued to perform well despite the “difficult year,” recording increases in both customer deposits and gross lending. She also noted that the Official Cash Rate cuts had fuelled some strong competition in the home lending space.

“The Official Cash Rate cuts saw interest rates drop to the lowest levels on record, providing a good opportunity for first home buyers to enter the market and for homeowners to pay off as much debt as possible,” Watson said.

“While underlying revenue growth has been subdued, both customer deposits were up 5%, and gross lending up 4%. Our focus on responsible lending means credit quality remains strong and provision charges low.”

“Demand for commodity exports is healthy, construction activity is firm, plus lower interest rates and an easing NZD are supporting activity,” Watson concluded. “Growth is expected to start lifting as easier monetary conditions make an impact.”

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