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Westpac lifts profit to more than $8 billion

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Westpac has lifted its full-year profit three per cent to $8.062 billion, boosted by six per cent growth in Australian mortgages.

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The lender on Monday said cash profit for the 12 months to September 30 rose from $7.822 billion a year ago, helped by a four per cent lift in earnings from the consumer division.

Chief executive Brian Hartzer said Westpac had managed to grow its loan book, while ensuring it stayed within regulatory limits on investor and interest-only lending.

“This is another solid result. We have continued to successfully navigate a challenging environment while our strategy builds momentum,” Hartzer said.

“Our primary goal in 2017 was to carefully balance growth and returns, while meeting all of our new macro-prudential regulatory requirements.”

Westpac also lifted its common equity tier one capital ratio to 10.6 per cent, comfortably beating the January 2020 deadline to meet the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s 10.5 per cent “unquestionably strong” benchmark.

Cash profit from business banking rose six per cent, but declined 11 per cent at the BT Financial business that includes superannuation and insurance.

Overall cash profit took a $118 million hit from refunds and payments to super customers who lost out because of unsatisfactory disclosure practices, package customers who did not receive benefits to which they were entitled, and others who did not receive on-time advice to which they were entitled.

The payout was equivalent to 1.5 per cent of cash profit.

“Where we have found issues that we need to put right, we ensure that no customer has been disadvantaged from those past practices,” Hartzer said.

The bank also flagged a $95 million pre-tax slug from the government bank levy.

Westpac, which lifted statutory net profit 7.3 per cent to $7.990 billion, held its final dividend at 94 cents, for a fully franked full-year payout of $1.88 per security.

WESTPAC’S FY FIGURES

* Cash profit up 3.1pct to $8.062b

* Net profit up 7.3pct to $7.990b

* Net operating income up 3.9pct to $21.802b

* Final dividend steady at 94 cents, fully franked

– AAP

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