Speaking at a press conference in Sydney today, Mr Clyne said it was NAB’s duty to ensure credit flows continue to support economic growth.
“As to whether we are viewed as a mortgage bank, we are delighted to have had 17 consecutive quarters of above-system mortgage growth,” Mr Clyne said.
“But I think you will find that our peers have about $100 billion more in mortgages on their books than we do, so I’m not quite sure we would be entirely characterised as a mortgage bank.”
Mortgages account for 59 per cent of the bank’s $412 billion lending portfolio.
NAB’s half-yearly profit results, released today, show the highest cash earnings figure in the bank’s history, at 8.5 per cent.
Home lending increased by $11.3 billion, or 3.9 per cent, in the six months to March 31.
Excluding foreign exchange, the increase was $8.6 billion, or 3 per cent, mainly due to a $6.7 billion increase in Australian mortgages, a $1.6 billion increase in UK mortgages and an increase of $0.3 billion in NZ mortgages.
“The mortgage market has tightened up but there is not a significant gap now,” Mr Clyne said.
“There is obviously one bank that has priced a little higher but fundamentally the gap is somewhat closed.
“We are obviously still the lowest of the majors but I think it is very competitive.”