Jamie Gray is a business reporter for the NZ Herald

BNZ helps to lift NAB profit

The Bank of New Zealand's parent company, National Australia Bank, reported a third-quarter cash profit of A$1.4 billion ($1.7 billion), up from A$1.1 billion in the corresponding period last year, with contributions coming from each of the group's three banking businesses - Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

NAB said New Zealand banking, despite the Christchurch earthquakes and a slow recovery from recession, recorded sound earnings and revenue growth. Lending volume growth in the New Zealand business sector remained subdued.

The bank said BNZ customers switching from fixed to variable rate mortgages continued to support margins.

The focus on growing customer deposits continued and the recent Australian covered bond issue further increased BNZ's term funding and diversification, NAB said.

BNZ's charge for bad and doubtful debt improved, NAB said, although risks remained, particularly in the business sector.

- NZ Herald

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