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Cooperative Bank posts flat earnings

NZN 29/05/2017 Paul McBeth

The Cooperative Bank, which distributes rebates to its customer-shareholders, has posted flat annual earnings.

Shrinking margins offset lending growth from an expanding customer base, and impairment charges on bad debts rose.

Net profit was little changed at $10.3 million in the 12 months ended March 31, with an unchanged $2.1m rebate, the Wellington-based bank said in a statement.

The bank's mortgage lending grew 17 per cent in the year, driving most of the gain in its loan book to $2.1 billion as at March 31.

Customer deposits grew 14 per cent to sit at $2.03b. Impairment charges climbed to $2.2m from $1.4m a year earlier.

"Strong customer growth is a standout achievement in the past financial year, one of many transformational outcomes in what has been a year of firsts for the bank," chairman Steven Fyfe and chief executive David Cunningham said in the annual report.

"The board and management continue to focus on growth, which means not only attracting new customers but, equally as important, growing our relationships with existing customers, increasingly via digital channels."

Cooperative Bank appointed Mr Cunningham chief executive this month, replacing Bruce McLauchlan who left at the end of March to head fund manager Fisher Funds Management.

The bank added 15,000 customers in the year, taking its total to 156,000 customers who shared in the rebate.

The lender was granted a banking licence in the latter half of 2011 and rebranded from its former incarnation as PSIS when it had 127,000 customer-owners.

The lender increased its total capital ratio to 16.9 per cent from 15.8 per cent a year earlier, more than twice the minimum 8 per cent level required.

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