10 Aug 2011

Profit doubled by ASB

12:30 pm on 10 August 2011

ASB has more than doubled its full year profit, boosted in part by a drop in money set aside to cover bad debts.

The Australian-owned bank made $568 million in the year to June, compared with $236 million in the previous year when it faced a one-off $209 million tax settlement.

The subdued economic recovery has helped ASB increase profits, by lessening the fear that households and firms would default on their loans.

ASB's provision for bad debt fell 42% to $72 million.

Net interest income rose 22% to $1.2 billion due to customers switching to higher margin floating rates.

But households, firms and farmers remain wary about borrowing, with total lending slipping slightly to $53 billion.

Total deposits slipped slightly to $55.6 billion, though retail deposits rose 6% to almost $37 billion amid strong competition among lenders to attract savings to meet tougher Reserve Bank funding rules.

ASB's parent company, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, lifted its full year profit by 13% to $A6.4 billion.