Kiwibank lending rises, profit falls

Kiwibank's home lending increased by 4% in the half year to December, but profits fell by nearly 20% over the period.

The state-backed bank unveiled its latest set of financial results today, with business lending up 17% and home loans up 4% in the six months to December. 

Overall, profits were down 18% on the same period of 2018, as the bank made $51 million. 

According to the bank's statement, total gross residential mortgage lending was $19.72 billion, up from $17.95 billion at the end of 2018, and $18.8 billion at the end of 2017. 

Steve Jurkovich, CEO of Kiwibank, said the lending growth reflected more customers opting for a domestic bank over foreign domiciled lenders.

He said "more than ever Kiwis are choosing to support a New Zealand-owned bank, and in turn Kiwibank is there backing Kiwi dreams".

Total new lending rose by $1.1 billion, and the bank recorded a 1% rise in deposits.

The results come as the bank pares back its retail branch network retail staff across New Zealand. 

The bank has been heavily involved in the mortgage wars since the Reserve Bank's Official Cash Rate cuts last year. 

Kiwibank's two year rate of 3.55% is on par with the big four as one of the cheapest available in the market. In aggressive move for new home loan customers, the bank has revived its free holiday offer for home loan applicants at the turn of the year. 



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