24 Oct 2012

ANZ increases lending ahead of rebranding

10:38 am on 24 October 2012

ANZ Banking Group, New Zealand's biggest bank, increased lending by more than any of its main banking rivals in the three months to the end of June, ahead of the announcement of the demise of its National Bank brand.

The 1.26% growth in its gross loans and advances was bettered only by minnow The Co-operative Bank, the former PSIS, according to the KPMG Financial Institutions Performance Survey for the June quarter.

TSB Bank has been playing the New Zealand-owned card strongly in its marketing but its increase in gross loans and advances in the quarter was less than ANZ's at 0.86%, AAP reports.

However, the annual increase of 3.92% for TSB is greater than ANZ's 0.44%.

Westpac's strong growth in gross loans and advances slowed. It increased gross loans and advances by just 0.79 % in the June quarter, taking annual growth to 4.66%.

Kiwibank has the strongest annual growth of 8.24%.

The survey's authors note that Southland Building Society saw a decrease in loans and advances in the quarter and in the year.

"However, their interest margin has increased over the quarter and the year, compared to a relatively flat or decreasing trend from other banks (including Kiwibank), which could indicate that SBS is not engaging in the extent of competition that other banks seem to be engaged in."

Overall banks notched up $914 million of profits in the June quarter, up 44.6% on the previous quarter.

But the survey's authors say unrealised gains in derivatives portfolios are moving the profit numbers around, particularly when quarters are compared. Net profit across the sector in the March quarter had fallen 45%.

The survey says that there is a consensus in the banking sector that Christchurch has proven resilient in the wake of earthquakes that devastated the city.

"Losses incurred by banks have not arisen to the extent that most participants feared post the earthquakes," the survey said.