Bank of New Zealand’s (BNZ) half year financial results illustrate a strong performance for the bank and its customers, according to CEO Angie Mentis. “BNZ’s strong revenue growth has been underpinned by a significant growth in customer deposits and savings.”
BNZ has announced a statutory net profit for its banking group of $490 million for the six months ended 31 March 2018, with operating revenue up 11.1%. Cash earnings for NZ Bankingincreased by 8.6% over the same period.
Revenue growth was supported by strong business and housing lending growth and improved net interest margin.
“These results mean BNZ is well placed to respond to an unprecedented change in the way customers are using digital technology. We are accelerating an ambitious transformation strategy. Our sights are set on the changes that will make the biggest difference to our ability to consistently offer our customers a seamless banking experience,” says Ms Mentis.
Over 92% of BNZ transactions and 49% of sales are now digital. “Having the right resources in the right places will continue to be an area of focus for us. Our half year results include an allowance for costs to support the reshaping of the bank with our focus on becoming faster, more personal and innovating across our digital platforms,” says Ms Mentis.
Working hard to get things right
“BNZ is not complacent about the issues emerging from Australia. We will be ruthlessly vigilant in ensuring that our customers’ trust in us is well placed,” says Ms Mentis.
“In our focus to deliver a seamless banking experience, we assess global best practice in relation to conduct and are taking learnings from several recent financial sector inquiries across Australia, the UK and the US.” says Ms Mentis. “The Royal Commission is helping shape this work, but our focus is deliberately broader than that to ensure we are across all relevant findings and learnings.”
Backing New Zealand business and home owners
Since January Ms Mentis has talked to more than 200 BNZ business customers. “Our customers tell us the same things,” says Ms Mentis. “They want a bank that knows them, that is there to support them and a bank that is simple to do business with.”
With customer deposits now totaling $58 billion, BNZ is better placed than ever to support business growth right across the economy. Growth in the SME segment continues with lending to small and medium sized companies now totaling $22 billion.
“We’ve continued to support New Zealanders to get into their first or next home or property, with an increase of $2 billion in housing lending over the same period,” says Ms Mentis.
Bank of choice for wealth management
BNZ Private Bank has been awarded global recognition as the best Private Bank in New Zealand for five years in a row. For the second year in a row, the bank celebrated winning the Consumer NZ People’s Choice award for KiwiSaver overall satisfaction. BNZ is the only back to back winner of this award.
BNZ now has $5 billion in funds under management. BNZ is working hard to meet the wealth management needs of even more customers and is excited about the opportunity to do that by creating YouWealth, the bank’s newest wealth management offer,” says Ms Mentis.
Supporting New Zealand communities
“Making a difference in our customers’ lives and in the communities they share is what inspires most BNZers. That’s particularly reflected in our fantastic Community Finance scheme,” says Ms Mentis.
Community Finance now has Vaka Tautua on its list of community providers, alongside the likes of Salvation Army. Vaka Tautua Chief Executive Vui Mark Gosche says “Pacific families are captive to the worst loan providers in New Zealand… being able to provide Community Finance loans means we are able to offer a fair option for families who are already in financial distress.”
Ms Mentis says “At BNZ we also recognise that for many New Zealanders moving to a digital financial world can be daunting. So, we’re sending 1,200 of BNZ’s tech savvy staff into our neighborhoods to help community groups like Senior Net help their members to be more comfortable in the digital world.”
“There’s so much more BNZ is doing with our communities and I ask everyone to read today’s results alongside BNZ’s Good Report. It highlights the role BNZ plays in our communities, from charitable work through to supporting diversity and inclusion.”
“I’m delighted to be part of a great organisation with such a long and proud history in our country,” says Ms Mentis. “These endeavours are great examples of how strong financial results, like those I’ve announced today, enable BNZ to support our customers, our communities and New Zealand.”