The country’s biggest bank has posted an improved profit on the back of increased home lending, reduced bad loans, and a drop in expenses.


Generic exteriors of ANZ officePhoto: RNZ / Nate McKinnon


ANZ reported a net profit of $930 million in the six months ended March, up 18 percent on the year earlier’s $789m.

Lending volumes increased driven by home loan growth, which was partially offset by a fall in commercial lending as well reduced income after it sold UDC Finance last year.

Customer deposits rose 1.6 percent, with gross lending up 3.5 percent, over the previous six-month period.

The amount set aside for bad and doubtful debts fell $302m, resulting in $70m being credited to its bottom line.

“Across the economy, businesses have generally fared better than we expected so we’ve been able to release around 25 percent of the additional credit provisions we had put in place since the start of the pandemic,” chief executive Antonia Watson said.

Revenue rose 2 percent to $2.03 billion, as the net interest margin was broadly flat at 2.32 percent and expenses dropped 8 percent.

Despite the improved result, Watson said the economic outlook was uneven.

“Sectors that relied on overseas visitors, such as education, hospitality and tourism, have been disproportionately affected and we’ve seen first-hand the challenges facing our customers in those industries,” she said.

“As we look ahead, a full recovery is still some way off. Economic confidence will take time to be restored as residual impacts of the pandemic are felt.”