Westpac New Zealand's record annual cash earnings of $916 million has confirmed a bumper year for the country's big four Australian-owned banks, taking their combined haul to $4.4 billion.

That's a 4.7 per cent increase on the $4.2 billion Westpac, ANZ, ASB and BNZ reported last year.

However, their combined cash earnings growth has slowed from the more than 10 per cent increase the four lending giants achieved between 2013 and 2014.

Booming BNZ sets aside rural cushion
ANZ NZ profits up 0.3pc, interest margin falls
ASB posts record annual profit
Nicky Hager seeks 'full and frank disclosure' from Westpac following 'privacy breach'


Cash earnings exclude one-off items such as swings in the value of volatile financial instruments.

Massey University banking expert David Tripe said that in 2015 the banks weren't enjoying the same bottom-line benefits from the write-backs of bad and doubtful debt provisions they reported last year.

Meanwhile, net interest income growth had been slowing in the local banking sector.

"That's an effect of competition," Tripe said.

Westpac New Zealand is the last of the big four to report its annual financial result.

At the group level, the four Australian banks' combined profit came to A$30.7 billion (NZ$32.4 billion).

Westpac's $916 million in New Zealand cash earnings was a 6 per cent increase on the previous year.

The Auckland-based bank said impairment charges rose to $47 million from a low charge of $26 million in 2014, which was supported by write-backs.


Net interest income rose 8 per cent to $1.7 billion, while expenses rose 6 per cent as a result of increased investment spending and salary increases.

Westpac New Zealand's mortgage lending rose 5.8 per cent to $41.9 billion.

Business lending lifted 9 per cent to $25.1 billion, while deposits rose 5 per cent to $51.9 billion.

Westpac Banking Group, the New Zealand division's Australian parent, reported a 3 per cent increase in annual cash earnings to A$7.8 billion.

Westpac's result comes after ANZ New Zealand and BNZ reported full-year cash profits of $1.7 billion and $966 million, respectively, last week.

ASB reported a $846 million annual cash profit in August.


See Westpac's full financial results here: