12 Aug 2015

ASB's profits rise after boost in lending

2:34 pm on 12 August 2015

ASB Bank has lifted its annual profit by 6 percent.

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The Australian-owned bank made $859 million in the year to the end of June, up by 6 percent compared with the previous year.

Operating income rose 6 percent to $2.1 billion.

ASB said it lent more to businesses and farmers, with lending rising by 14 percent to $20 billion dollars, while home loans grew by 5 percent to $43.7 billion.

Deposits rose 16 percent to $46.7 billion.

Expenses rose 5 percent due to pay rises and more front-line staff, as well as technology costs.

Loan impairment costs rose by more than half to $89 million, due in part to an increase in money set aside to cover rural loans.

ASB's sister company, the insurer Sovereign, lifted its profit by 19 percent to $123 million, due to fewer claims and higher premiums.