ANZ New Zealand reported a strong rise in profit for the six
months ended March. The New Zealand operation's cash profit
was up 27% to $887 million and the statutory profit up 31% to
The Australian-based parent ANZ beat market expectations with
a record half-year cash profit of $A3.5 billion ($NZ37.7
Bank profits are always under scrutiny, but particularly this
year, an election year.
ANZ New Zealand chief executive David Hisco said the result
reflected significant reductions in costs due to the
company's simplification programme, and above-market growth
in home loans, strong lending to the commercial and export
sectors, rapid growth in KiwiSaver and major reductions in
credit provisions arising from management actions and an
He predicted even better results in the future.
A fully-imputed interim dividend of 10c per share was
''By leveraging our strong financial position and scale, this
work is moving us towards our ultimate goal of creating New
Zealand's best bank.''
The bank achieved good lending growth while maintaining net
interest margin in a competitive credit environment, he said.
At the same time, the bank had improved the quality of its
Already the leader in the home lending market, ANZ increased
its share by 0.44% in the current half-year while
implementing the Reserve Bank's restrictions on high
''We were in a position to honour all of our customer
pre-approval commitments and continued to approve high LVR
loans, while remaining within the Reserve Bank's limits,'' Mr
Westpac is forecast by Morningstar and Credit Suisse to lift
cash earnings to a record $A3.8 billion from $A3.5 billion
when it reports on Monday.
Credit Suisse says there will be a A5c rise in the dividend
to A90c plus a A10c special dividend.
National Australia Bank, the owner of BNZ, in New Zealand,
could be a relative disappointment, if a $A3 billion-plus
cash profit could be called that.
First Union general secretary Robert Reid said the week had
seen increased debate about inequality around chief executive
salaries. Not only were banks repatriating large profits back
to Sydney and Melbourne, they more than many companies, had
massive disparity between worker and chief executive pay.
Bank profits were at record levels but the untold stories
behind those profits was an intensification of pressure and
stress on bank workers through aggressive sales targets, he
Mr Hisco's salary was more than $4 million, Mr Reid said.
''While the shareholders and those at the top of the bank are
doing well, workers at ANZ continue to report unrealistic
targets and work stress to their union.''
ANZ and First Union would soon meet for employment
negotiations. Workers were ''absolutely committed'' to
improve the stressful conditions many of them worked under,
In Australia, ANZ shares were down A43c at $A34.04 after
announcing its results. Westpac was down A34c at $A34.78,
National Australia Bank was A41c weaker at $A34.89, but
Commonwealth Bank was up 2c at $A78.92.