14 Aug 2014

ASB thrives without low-deposit loans

9:07 am on 14 August 2014

ASB Bank's overall mortgage book grew $290 million in the June quarter, taking growth for the year to $1.5 billion.

Barfoot & Thompson says sales fell 13 percent in July, compared with the same period a year ago. The median house price rose 10 percent to $640,000.

Barfoot & Thompson says sales fell 13 percent in July, compared with the same period a year ago. The median house price rose 10 percent to $640,000. Photo: PHOTO NZ

All the growth in the latest quarter and more, $601 million, was in lending to people with 20 percent and greater deposits.

Mortgage lending to those with less than a 20 percent deposit shrank by $311 million in the three months.

ASB's chief executive, Barbara Chapman, said that the deposit restrictions were slowing the momentum of property price rises, and there had been a drop in the sales of properties valued at less than $400,000.

At present the bank had about 6 percent of its loans in the form of low-deposit loans, well withing the RBNZ's "speed-limit" of 10 percent.

On Wednesday, the bank reported a 14 percent rise in annual net profit against the background of a steadily improving economy and favourable funding conditions.

ASB's profit for the year ended June rose to $806 million. The bank said its preferred measure of underlying profit was up 11 percent.

Ms Chapman said the outlook for the bank was generally positive, though there might now be some headwinds as more customers moved onto fixed-rate home loans, which gave the bank lower profit margins.

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