ANZ releases first-half results for 2021

Bank notes significant mortgage volumes

ANZ releases first-half results for 2021

ANZ New Zealand (ANZ) has released its first-half results for 2021 – revealing a statutory net profit tax (NPAT) of NZ$930 million for the six months to March 31, 2021.

ANZ stated that its cash NPAT reached NZ$962 million for the six months to March 31, 2021 – up 42% from the cash NPAT in the period ending March 31, 2020, reflecting a solid home lending market and a significant reduction in credit impairment charges.

Meanwhile, the bank’s expenses decreased by 8% from March 31, 2020, due to lower personnel costs, simplification initiatives, and the divestment of UDC in September 2020. Customer deposits and gross lending also increased by 1.6% and 3.5%, respectively, from September 30, 2020.

ANZ NZ chief executive officer Antonia Watson said sectors such as housing, construction, and agriculture had proven resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Across the economy, businesses have generally fared better than we expected, so we’ve been able to release around 25% of the additional credit provisions we had put in place since the start of the pandemic,” Watson said.

“While there’s room for optimism, we also know the impact on the economy is uneven,” she continued. “Sectors that relied on overseas visitors, such as education, hospitality, and tourism, have been disproportionally affected, and we’ve seen first-hand the challenges facing our customers in those industries.”

ANZ also noted that its home lending was up $5.8 billion over the six months to March 31, 2021. In December, the bank was the first bank to require a 40% deposit from residential property investors to balance the housing market.

“It’s in everyone’s interests for residential property prices to be sustainable long term, and for home ownership to be accessible to as many people as possible,” Watson said.

Watson also highlighted the bank’s continued development of the New Zealand Sustainable Debt Market, with transactions including the first 30-year green bond in the New Zealand market for Auckland Council and Mercury Limited’s inaugural green bond. It confirmed support for the Aotearoa Pledge, an initiative aimed at increasing affordable housing supply in partnership with Community Finance.

“As we look ahead, a full recovery is still some way off. Economic confidence will take time to be restored as residual impacts of the pandemic are felt,” Watson said. “Banks have an important role in helping New Zealanders through the recovery, and ANZ NZ is playing its part.”