25 Oct 2012

ANZ profit rises after increased lending

7:48 pm on 25 October 2012

The country's largest lender, ANZ New Zealand, has recorded a profit off the back of increased lending and flat costs.

ANZ New Zealand made an underlying profit of $1.368 billion in the year to September, an increase of 10% compared with the previous year.

Net interest income rose 4% to $2.7 billion due to people switching from fixed to floating mortgage rates, which is more profitable for banks.

Lending increased 3% to $88 billion driven by loans to small businesses, while deposits grew strongly - up 9% to $50 billion - despite keen competition.

The amount set aside to cover potentially bad loans rose by 4% to $195 million, but the bank says it managed to keep a lid on costs.

Overall, ANZ's profit rose by 6% to $A6 billion, driven by an improved second half for the Australian division and growth in its institutional banking, particularly in Asia.

Its chief executive David Hisco says the bank has been working to simplify its business and hold onto customers.