Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) has today announced strong financial results which CEO Anthony Healy says is an excellent outcome for the bank’s people, its customers and its shareholders. He emphasised that making a meaningful contribution to communities needs to happen in tandem with good financial results.
“My focus is on BNZ’s role in contributing to a high achieving New Zealand – from the families we help into their first home, to the small business owners we assist to open their doors for the first time and the entrepreneurs we enable to flourish. It includes the time our agri bankers spend visiting our customers in the most remote farming communities, through to helping our largest corporates expand,” said Mr Healy.
BNZ plays a vital role in contributing to a high achieving New Zealand
“We recognise that we have a wide range of stakeholders and we need to work closely with all of them to focus on financial results and our contribution to a successful New Zealand,” said Mr Healy.
The expansion of the Community Finance partnership to 13 regions was a highlight for BNZ which was enabled by $4.2 million in operational funding from the government. Together with Good Shepherd and BNZ’s community providers, Community Finance is now in 13 cities and towns from Whangarei to Invercargill. Community Finance offers low and no interest loans to New Zealanders who don’t meet standard bank criteria. BNZ estimates its $1.45 million in lending to 31 August 2017 has saved customers more than $780,000 versus borrowing through alternative lenders and the bank has made $60 million in lending available to Community Finance customers.
“I’m incredibly proud of the difference we are making in communities around New Zealand and the stand we have taken on ethical investment in our KiwiSaver funds, developing a responsible investment policy that excluded investments in companies involved in the production of cluster munitions, anti-personnel mines, nuclear weapons and tobacco or tobacco products,” said Mr Healy.
Delivering a strong financial result
“Our continued focus on our priority segments has delivered further market share growth in our core business and home lending segments, supporting New Zealand businesses and communities to grow and families to invest in homes. Importantly, this growth has driven a strong result for shareholders, which is critical because they are the ones who provide us with the capital that enables us to put more back into the country,” said Mr Healy.
BNZ has today reported an increase in cash earnings of 7.9% to $983 million on the prior year and a statutory net profit for its banking group of NZ$937 million.
BNZ cites the ongoing growth and investment in its Partners offering as a key driver of the bank’s performance in 2017. “Our unique Partners model continues to resonate strongly with our business and agri clients across New Zealand. We have invested in the rebuild of Canterbury, opened a new Partners Centre in the Christchurch CBD in December 2016, and in March 2017 opened a co-working space there which specifically caters to the needs of small businesses, called community 101,” said Mr Healy.
The bank has continued to grow its specialist capabilities across high growth areas such as Health, ICT, start-ups and entrepreneurs – all of which are vital to New Zealand’s future; and for the fourth year BNZ Private Bank has been awarded ‘Best Private Bank in New Zealand’ at The Banker/PWM Global Private Banking Awards 2017.
“It has been pleasing to see the recovery of the dairy sector which has delivered improving on-farm cash flows. We are also seeing the unwinding of the Dairy Impaired No Loss category, which has reduced 73 percent over FY17, from $823 million to $222 million. This is the result of the effort we made to support our farmers through the downturn and shows the resilience of the sector,” said Mr Healy.
BNZ continues its focus on sustainable growth in housing, resulting in an increase of $2.3 billion. BNZ says its presence in the broker market continues to deliver expanded distribution reach. Nationally it has partnerships with more than 900 brokers across six aggregator groups, of which 60 percent are in Auckland.
Results delivered via digital investment and a re-shaped bank
“We recognise that the world of banking is changing and we’ve invested heavily in creating more seamless customer experiences, from our market leading digital platforms to our new and emerging technology partnerships,” said Mr Healy.
Last week BNZ launched Apple Pay and in December 2016 BNZ was the first bank to bring Android Pay to New Zealand, as well as being the first bank in Asia Pacific to integrate the payment method into its app.
In October 2017, BNZ joined the Intel Saffron Early Adopter Program to accelerate the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies in banking. Working with Intel Saffron and its innovative, leading edge AI technologies will enhance BNZ’s ability to understand its customers better than ever and help them do great things with their money.
“We’re proud to be helping home owners take steps to becoming debt-free, faster. Our home loan repayment tool means customers can increase their home loan payments online from their couch. Customers who’ve used this tool stand to save $273 million and take 63,000 years off their home loans. On average, a customer using this tool has taken four years and 11 months off their home loan,” said Mr Healy.
An agenda to transform
“Our job is to reimagine banking for the 21st century and that means adopting an accelerated transformation agenda underpinned by being truly customer-centric. Customers don’t want banking to dictate their lives – they want their lives to dictate banking,” said Mr Healy.
BNZ says its customers expect intuitive experiences, speed, simplicity and technology that is “always on”. It says its new, customer-led proposition – Bank of You – will be critical in helping it deliver the types of experiences its customers want, and it will be essential in transforming the bank.
“The shape of the bank is changing – our physical network, our digital platforms, and our products and services, are being shaped by our customers lives and how they want to interact with us. This is an accelerating shift that is guiding our investment agenda and our areas of strategic focus, as well as our focus on partnering and working with companies such as Intel, Salesforce, Apple, Google and Figured, to deliver innovative and emerging capabilities to enable great customer experiences. Over time, this will also deliver productivity benefits, and allow us to continue to grow revenue and enhance shareholder returns,” said Mr Healy.
Comparison with the 12 months ending 30 September 2016, unless otherwise stated.
BNZ Banking Group1
- Statutory net profit2 of NZ$937 million, NZ$24 million or 2.6% higher compared to prior year.
- Cash earnings3 of $983 million, increased by NZ$72 million or 7.9% driven by greater revenue to expense growth and lower charges for bad and doubtful debts.
NAB NZ Banking Reporting Segment
- Cash earnings3 increase of NZ$77 million or 8.9% to $941 million was driven by higher net interest income and lower charges for bad and doubtful debts.
- Underlying profit increased by NZ$61 million or 4.6% mainly due to higher net interest income.
- Net interest income increased by NZ$85 million or 5.3%, driven by growth in lending and deposit volumes, partly offset by lower net interest margin.
- Net interest margin decreased by 6bps to 2.18%, driven by lower earnings on capital and a competitive deposit market.
- Other operating income decreased by NZ$9 million or 1.6% mainly due to lower revenue in the credit card portfolio and life insurance business.
- Operating expenses increased by NZ$15 million or 1.7% to support continued investment in digital and technology.
- Charges for bad and doubtful debts decreased by NZ$54 million or 43.2% as a result of improved economic conditions, including the outlook for the dairy portfolio.
- Gross loans and advances increased by NZ$5.0 billion or 6.7% driven by housing and business lending.
- Customer deposits increased by NZ$4.6 billion or 9.1%.
Capital and Funding Position
BNZ maintains a robust capital structure, with a strong balance sheet that is well funded through diversified and stable funding sources. BNZ’s Core Funding Ratio (CFR) of 85.8% was comfortably above the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s (RBNZ) minimum requirement of 75% as at 30 September 2017. BNZ’s Common Equity Tier 1, Tier 1 and Total capital ratios of 10.65%, 12.14% and 13.36% respectively, as at 30 September 2017, exceeded the RBNZ’s minimum capital ratio requirements of 7.00%, 8.50% and 10.50% respectively.
Collectively, BNZ’s funding and capital position is supportive of its long‐term senior unsecured issuer credit ratings of AA‐/A1/AA‐ (S&P/Moody’s/Fitch).
1. “Banking Group” means Bank of New Zealand’s financial reporting group, which consists of Bank of New Zealand, all of its wholly owned entities and other entities consolidated for financial reporting purposes.
2. Statutory net profit has been prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Practice in New Zealand (“NZ GAAP”). It complies with New Zealand equivalents to International Financial Reporting Standards (“NZ IFRS”) and other applicable Financial Reporting Standards.
3. Cash earnings is a non-IFRS key financial performance measure used by BNZ for its internal management reporting as it better reflects what BNZ considers to be underlying performance. Cash earnings is calculated by excluding fair value movements and hedging gains/(losses) as they introduce volatility and/or distortion within the statutory net profit which is income neutral over the full term of transactions. A reconciliation of cash earnings to net profit is included on the final page. Cash earnings is not a statutory financial measure, is not presented in accordance with NZ GAAP and is not audited or reviewed in accordance with International Standards on Auditing (New Zealand).
4. “NAB NZ Banking Reporting Segment”: excludes BNZ’s Group Capital Management and BNZ Markets Trading operations from the “Banking Group” and includes the Insurance operation in New Zealand for management reporting purposes.