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BNZ diversifies presence to build on solid profits

BNZ diversifies presence to build on solid profits

(14 May 2013 – New Zealand) Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) reported a half-year net profit of NZ$298 million (A$247 million) last week, demonstrating continued strong performances for the bank.

The result is an increase of NZ$70 million over the September 2013 half year.

Cash earnings for BNZ’s New Zealand banking operations of NZ$387 million continued the bank’s positive growth trend of the past three years and is an increase of NZ$31 million, or 8.7 percent over the September 2013 half year.

BNZ Chief Executive Andrew Thorburn said the bank is actively growing its deposit base by diversifying its presence in wholesale funding markets and holding prudent levels of liquidity, representing a significant contribution to maintaining BNZ’s rock-solid balance sheet and support its AA- credit rating.

Average volumes of customer deposits over the prior comparable period grew by NZ$3.6 billion or 10.7 percent.

Thorburn said that a deep customer focus, investment and drive for innovation continues to deliver big wins for BNZ and ensures the company maintains its significant contribution to New Zealand on a wide range of fronts.

"BNZ’s ongoing support of New Zealand businesses is driving increased lending growth to business, particularly in the country’s important agricultural sector. Total average lending volumes grew by NZ$1.9 billion or 3.3 percent over the prior comparable period."

The overall quality of BNZ's lending portfolio has continued a trend of gradual improvement during the current half year with a reduction in impaired assets across business, agricultural and retail exposures.

A growing focus for BNZ is its investment in digital channels which customers are enthusiastically adopting, particularly in the youth segment with the bank’s Canstar Innovation Excellence Award- winning YouMoney product, launched in February.

Another significant investment, BNZ’s much anticipated KiwiSaver scheme, has gained more than 8500 customers in the 10 weeks since its February launch.

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