Westpac New Zealand has announced a net operating income of $1.166 billion for the six-months ended in March, up 6% from the same period last year. Its cash earnings were up 4% to $482 million, and core earnings up 14% to $698 million.
“This is a good result across a range of business areas, despite a slowing housing market, a competitive deposit environment, and impairments moving back to more normal levels,” says Westpac NZ chief executive David McLean. “These results have been supported by strong fundamentals in the economy.”
The bank reported an 8% increase in customer deposits, with total net lending up 3%. Its funds under management in Westpac KiwiSaver Scheme increased 19% to $5.56 billion, and its housing lending of sits $48 billion, up 4% from the same period last year.
McLean said Westpac NZ remained focused on delivering a great experience for its customers, with a continued emphasis on transforming the business to improve customer service.
“We believe KiwiSaver is one of the best ways our customers can save for retirement,” McLean noted. “The cooling housing market presented an opportunity for first-home buyers with an 11.7% increase in Westpac KiwiSaver Scheme members withdrawing funds for a first home over the past six months to 31 March 2018.”
Following the announcement by the Financial Markets Authority and Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Westpac said it “will cooperate fully in order to show the differences between the New Zealand and Australian banking environments.”
“We are confident in our systems and processes and are committed to continuous improvement to ensure we operate at best practice,” the bank stated.