ANZ profit jumps, hikes dividend

Major bank ANZ will pay shareholders an interim dividend of 70 cents per share, as it reports cash profits have jumped by 28 per cent to $2.99 billion.

ANZ said the support packages introduced during COVID-19, including loan relief for businesses and home owners, were phased out over the March half.

However, the bank said the impact or duration of the pandemic continues to be uncertain, adding the bank recognised a credit impairment release of $491 million, compared to $1.7 billion during the same time last year.

ANZ Bank chief executive Shayne Elliott says the bank still faces” “significant uncertainty.”Credit:Meredith O’Shea

ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliott said improving credit conditions allowed the bank to write more than $500 million in new loans over the half, but added there was still a $4.3 billion reserve if conditions deteriorate.

“There is still significant uncertainty. You only need to look at how the pandemic is playing out overseas, as well as recent lock-downs, to realise how quickly the situation can escalate,” Mr Elliott said.

Mr Elliott said the bank’s strong capital position allowed the dividend to be paid out at double the rate of ANZ’s final results in October.

“Our disciplined approach to capital management also meant we could support customers through the COVID-19 pandemic without the need to dilute existing shareholders through equity raisings,” Mr Elliott said.

More to come

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