Westpac has become the third major to announce record full-year profits, with the bank's cash earnings rising 7% to $6.3bn.
Westpac followed CBA and NAB in announcing record earnings for the year. The bank announced a statutory net profit of $6.99bn, up 10% from the previous year. The bank's cash earnings were driven by its retail and wealth divisions. Westpac's retail arm saw cash earnings rise 11%, and subsidiary St. George saw a 12% increase in cash earnings.
Westpac CEO Gail Kelly said the bank's strategy of devloping multiple-product relationships with its customers was paying dividends.
"It is pleasing to see evidence of our strategy delivering tangible benefits. Deeper customer relationships, measured by customers with four or more products, are a real strength at a time of more subdued economic growth. We are also growing overall customer numbers in each of our major brands. In addition, our customer experience is continuing to improve, aided by our investment in people, in technology and in simplified processes," she commented.
The bank also increased lending over the year, with mortgage lending rising $17bn. Total net interest margins from the bank's lending activity were unchanged at 2.22%. Westpac claimed improved mortgage and business lending margins were offset by higher costs for deposits and lower Treasury net interest income.
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