27 Aug 2008

Popular Kiwibank posts $36.8m profit

3:09 pm on 27 August 2008

Kiwibank has reported an increase in annual profit, driven by growth in loans and deposits.

The publicly owned New Zealand bank made a profit of $36.8 million, an increase of 19% on the previous year.

Kiwibank is in growth mode as it looks to bolster its market share by luring customers from its much-larger rivals by offering cheaper mortgages and higher deposit rates.

The strategy is paying off, having boosted its retail deposits by 46% to $4.8 billion, and its lending portfolio by 57% to $5.6 billion.

The bank has 650,000 customers. Kiwibank chief executive Sam Knowles says it is attracting between 300 and 400 new customers a day.

Kiwibank became embroiled in a political controversy after National Party deputy leader Bill English was secretly taped saying National might sell it eventually, which he later conceded he should not have said.

Mr Knowles shrugged off the comments, saying Kiwibank customers understand there is a commitment to keeping the bank in New Zealand hands.