25 Jun 2014

SBS Bank lifts its annual profit

1:22 pm on 25 June 2014

The Southland-based SBS Bank has lifted its annual profit due to a drop in bad debts.

The Bank made a net profit of $15.6 million in the year to March 2014 - an increase of nine percent compared with the previous year.

Provisions to cover bad debts fell by 39 percent to $10.5 million.

Total income edged down by one percent to $91 million, due mainly to a decline in net interest income.

In contrast, expenses jumped nine percent to $58 million as it spent more on upgrading its IT systems to allow customers to bank using the Internet and mobile devices like tablets.

SBS is stepping up efforts to expand in the crucial Auckland market.

Chief executive, Ross Smith, said the Bank needed to attract more customers.

"We know that we have to balance revenue growth with any expenditure growth and we are very conscious that our expenses have increased over the last two or three years at a rate which is in excess of that revenue growth and we are monitoring that closely."

Loans rose a modest 2.2 percent to $2.3 million with more housing and consumer lending offsetting a decline in agricultural and commercial loans.

Deposits rose one percent to $2.5 billion.