ANZ profit drops 27% after loan writedowns

ANZ New Zealand profits took a 27% hit in the year to September after taking a $401 million write-down on loans.

Net profit after tax dropped by $489 million to $1.33 billion, down from $1.82 billion last year. 

The massive fall comes as the bank scrambles to quantify the fallout from Covid-19, with writedowns and credit impairments increased following the crisis. 

The bank increased its "charge for expected credit losses" by 305% to $401 million.

It comes as ANZ granted home owners and businesses loan deferrals of up to six months, with a further four month extension if needed.

ANZ NZ has granted 24,000 of its 529,000 home loan customers (4.5%) payment deferrals. 

About 10,000 (1.8% of home loan customers) remain on deferral plans as of October 15.

ANZ New Zealand chief executive Antonia Watson said the bank had struggled during the Covid crisis. 

"Covid-19 brought unprecedented challenges to our country and consequently for many businesses, including ANZ NZ, and this is reflected in our full-year result," she said. 

"Despite the difficult year, ANZ NZ has continued to perform well, demonstrating it can weather challenging economic conditions and play an important role in supporting customers through the crisis."

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