Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has notched a slight increase in annual profit after a weaker second half of the financial year.
The company, which operates in 500 communities including many in Tasmania, reported a 1.1 per cent increase in net profit after tax to $434.5 million for 2017-18.
Profit for the six months to December 31 totalled $231.7 million, but dropped away to $202.8 million in the second half as income weakened.
Annual income increased by 2.1 per cent to $1.64 billion, while expenses rose by 2.8 per cent to $1.01 billion.
“Throughout the year, business conditions were characterised by high levels of competition and relatively subdued asset growth,” the company said in its annual financial report.
“Despite this, we recorded good levels of activity in the second half of the financial year, which translated into loan growth only slightly below system and solid earnings growth for the two largest divisions.”
Managing director Marnie Baker said the bank had performed well in a competitive, challenging environment.
“We continue to consistently lead the industry with a strong funding position which provides flexibility to fund organic and inorganic asset growth,” she said.
“With 80.2 per cent of funding sourced from retail customers, this further indicates the strength of our business in an environment where volatility and disruption will continue.”
Chairman Robert Johanson said the bank had performed strongly in a very difficult year for the industry.
“The royal commission has been a very demanding and rigorous process and a timely reminder of the need always to act with integrity and fairness and in the interests of our customers,” he said.
“The report by the Productivity Commission into competition in financial services has not attracted the same headlines as the royal commission, but its analysis of the harm to the Australian economy as a result of the competitive disadvantage suffered by non-major banks and service providers is, we think, very important.”