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BNZ grows December quarter gross lending at more than four times the rate of Westpac

BNZ grows December quarter gross lending at more than four times the rate of Westpac

By Gareth Vaughan

The Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) recorded a NZ$272 million rise in total gross lending in the December quarter, more than four times the lending growth of rival Westpac, the only other of the big four banks to release its December quarter General Disclosure Statement (GDS) so far.

BNZ's latest GDS shows the bank's total gross loans and advances to customers rose by NZ$272 million to NZ$55.64 billion at December 31 last year from NZ$55.37 billion at September 30, 2010. Housing loans rose by NZ$170 million to NZ$26.4 billion, less than "other term" lending, which increased by NZ$200 million to NZ$25.58 billion.

Westpac's latest GDS, released late last week, shows housing term loans grew by just NZ$53 million in the quarter to NZ$34.3 billion, less than non-housing loans which grew by NZ$68 million to NZ$13.45 billion. The bank's total gross loans rose by NZ$58 million to NZ$50.82 billion. Westpac grew gross lending by NZ$2 billion in the year to September 2010 when ANZ, ASB and BNZ all recorded falls.

BNZ's term deposits, a key funding source due to the Reserve Bank's Core Funding Ratio, rose by NZ$656 million to NZ$18.2 billion.

However, 90 day past due assets increased by NZ$14 million to NZ$210 million with total impaired assets and assets under administration up to NZ$1.03 billion from NZ$997 million.

Total assets fell by NZ$1 billion to NZ$68.6 billion.

At NZ$150 million, the BNZ's net profit after tax for the three months to December  was well down on NZ$271 million in the same period of 2009. However, the 2009 figure included NZ$143 million worth of tax credits following BNZ's structured finance transaction settlement with the Inland Revenue Department. Once this is stripped out, net profit was up by NZ$22 million, or 17%, from NZ$128 million.

Meanwhile, BNZ's total operating income rose by NZ$17 million, or 4%, to NZ$450 million as operating expenses fell NZ$12 million, or 6%, to NZ$196 million. Impairment losses on credit exposures were down to NZ$39 million from NZ$43 million.

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