25 Feb 2014

Kiwibank picking strong second half

7:45 am on 25 February 2014

Kiwibank expects its second-half proft will be at least as strong as the first-half result it has just reported.

The bank's net profit fell 10 percent to $52 million for the six months to December, with overall lending up nearly 9 perecent compared with the same time a year earlier and lending up nearly 6 percent from the six months to June last year.

Kiwibank's December quarter disclosure statement shows its mortgage book grew by $413 million in the three months to December, taking net new lending to $647 million for the six months.

Mortgage lending to those with deposits of less than 20 percent was 4.6 percent in the December quarter and 8.2 percent for the six months to December.

Chief executive Paul Brock said his bank would have no problem complying with Reserve Bank's tightening of rules around loan-to-value ratios (LVRs).

"Obviously a lot of people have been trying to deal with the sort of levels around the new high LVR lending coming in but we've seen good strong growth during the period, and we saw almost 6 percent growth in lending during the half year," Mr Brock said.

The second quarter was stronger in terms of lending growth, he said.

"I think some of that was driven by some of the competitor reactions to some of the higher LVR lending and also an improving economy."

Mr Brock said the outlook for the second half was reasonably strong, and he expected it to be at least as strong as the first half.

Kiwibank has 840,000 customers, representing 23 percent of New Zealand bank customers.

Of those, about 385,000 or 46 percent are considered main bank customers, which it defines as having most or all of their banking with Kiwibank, representing a 10.7% percent market share.

Kiwibank has said it will invest more than $100 million in its business over the next four years, upgrading its core banking systems.