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Bank profits bolstered by above-system lending growth

A mutual bank has released its results for the 2019 financial year, reporting 2.5 times system lending growth.

Defence Bank has released its financial results for the 2019 financial year (FY19), posting a net profit after tax (NPAT) of just over $10 million, up 2.5 per cent from FY18.  

The bank’s NPAT was helped by lending portfolio growth of $222 million, up 9.8 per cent from FY18 to $2.5 billion – 2.5 times above system.

Accordingly, net interest income rose by $1.59 million, up 3.59 per cent to $45.8 million.

Member deposits also increased, rising by 7.1 per cent ($139 million) to just over $2 billion, with membership growing by approximately 4,500.

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CEO of Defence Bank David Marshall said he was pleased with the result amid challenging market conditions.

“The result is pleasing as it demonstrates our ability to deliver sound financial results, no matter what the operating environment, allowing us to keep investing in better products and services for our members benefit,” he said.

Mr Marshall added that Defence Bank’s FY19 performance “validates” its “people-led, technology-enabled strategy”, which he said would help steer the bank through a low interest rate environment.

“History shows that large multiyear technology transformation programs seldom deliver the promised benefits to members or employees, nor do they deliver the financial gains. As such, we have a people-led, technology-enabled business,” he said.

“Defence Bank is really beginning to see the benefits of this strategy and is positioned well for the future low interest rate environment.

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“We’re relentlessly focused on reducing the effort our members make in doing their day-to-day banking.”

He added: “It’s about doing the basics better than anyone else and remaining relevant to our unique member base. Members don’t want fancy marketing campaigns, buzzwords and reams of fine print. They just want things to be straightforward and down to earth.”

The chief executive concluded by noting that the bank is actively working to correct issues identified by its members, which he said allows the bank to “invest efficiently”.

“Our smaller size is an advantage as we can be more nimble in making changes,” he said.

[Related: Australian fintechs see 80% revenue growth]

Bank profits bolstered by above-system lending growth
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