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NAB posts $7 billion profit


National Australia Bank has lifted its annual profit by almost nine per cent to $7.7 billion – the latest big bank to record big earnings.

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Australia’s largest business bank reported its cash earnings for the 2023 fiscal year were up 8.8 per cent from the year before.

Its statutory net profit rose 7.6 per cent to $7.4 billion.

Westpac last month reported that it had banked a $4 billion net profit in six months – up 22 per cent, while the Commonwealth Bank in August reported $10 billion profit for the last fiscal year, up five per cent.

NAB chief executive Ross McEwan said the operating environment was more challenging in the second half of the year and was likely to remain so in the near term.

“We saw the impact of higher interest rates in our first half performance,” he said in a statement on Thursday.

“However, our results softened in the second six months amid intense competition as customers seek the best deal.

“This is all leading to some of the thinnest mortgage margins I’ve seen in my time in Australian banking.”

NAB on Wednesday passed on this week’s interest rate increase by the central bank to variable rate borrowers.

Rates have been rising since May last year, when the Reserve Bank of Australia began hiking the cash interest rate in a bid to head off inflationary pressures in the economy.

“Some customers are feeling it more than others and the RBA’s decision to again increase the official cash rate this week because of persistent inflation will increase the pressure on households,” McEwan said.

NAB’s full-year results again reflect the profitability of its key business and private banking arm, which delivered a 10 per cent rise in earnings to $3.3b.

NAB shareholders will be paid a final dividend of 84 cents per share, taking the total for the year to $1.67.

-with AAP

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