12 Aug 2009

$425m profit reported by ASB Bank

6:25 pm on 12 August 2009

The recession has not stopped ASB Bank turning in a solid annual profit.

The Australian-owned bank made a profit of $425 million in the year to June - a fall of 17% on the previous year as it set aside more to cover bad debts.

Net interest earnings fell 2% to $980 million as costs rose faster than revenue.

ASB says its margins shrank by 21 basis points to 1.57%, due to the higher cost of overseas funding and paying more to attract savers in New Zealand.

Lending to households, farms and business rose, with home loans increasing 3.5% to $37.7 billion.

It also set aside more to cover potential bad debts, doubling to $261 million, though ASB says that represents 0.4% of its total assets.

During the year, total assets rose by almost 10% to $65.2 billion.

Separately, parent company Commonwealth Bank made a full year profit of $A4.7 billion - a decrease of 1% on the previous year.