SBS Bank has reported a "solid result" for the financial year ending 31 March 2016 with an operating surplus of $27.7 million, a 6% increase on the $26.1 million reported last year.
SBS Bank chairman John Ward said, “In a somewhat difficult financial year we have achieved significant growth – especially in wealth management, consumer finance, insurance and residential lending sectors which is meritorious given the extremely competitive market.”
SBS Bank regulatory capital increased to $270.1 million for the year (up from $265.6 million last year) with retail deposits $2.74 billion (up from $2.52 billion last year) and loan advances $2.87 billion (up from $2.39 billion last year) and total assets at 3.41 billion (up from $2.86 billion last year).
Over the past year the bank has launched a refreshed contemporary brand across the network in November increasing its market presence while significant infrastructure expenditure went towards upgrading systems and software and investing in staff training and development.
“Our refreshed brand supporting our focus on making SBS easier to do business with has been very well received by our members,” Ward said. A national advertising campaign, along with mobile mortgage managers had also helped lift awareness of SBS in the Auckland region, a market Ward said SBS signalled last year it planned to become more active in. He added that the board had been “very satisfied” with progress in both the Auckland region and the provinces.
In September, Fitch Ratings upgraded SBS’s Outlook from ‘stable’ to ‘positive’ with major contributors cited as the transformed strategic approach, strong emerging competitive position and opportunity to grow the bank’s membership in a targeted way.
Interim SBS Group CEO, Mark McLean said, “We have continued to deliver tangible benefits to members through competitive pricing. The launch of our 3.99% one year fixed mortgage rate saw SBS lead the market, setting the lowest rate seen in decades.” In addition to benefit through pricing, more than $1 million in rebates had also been given to members in the past year.
SBS is focused on growth in the year ahead, with ongoing investment in IT, particularly the digital channel, and further staff development to support its vision to become ‘New Zealand’s member bank’.