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APRA stats show banking sector strength

Australia’s banking sector is powering ahead with strong growth in mortgage volumes and profits, according to new statistics from the prudential regulator.

In its latest quarterly update, APRA found that ADIs increased their net profit by 9.4 per cent to $35.3 billion over the 12 months to March, while banks increased their net profit by 9.5 per cent to $34.8 billion.

The majors grew their profits by 2.9 per cent to $7.5 billion – although that was between the March 2014 and December 2014 quarters, because the March 2015 figures aren’t yet available.

For the 12 months to March, ADIs increased their profit margin from 32.4 to 33.3 per cent, while banks increased their profit margins from 32.7 to 33.6 per cent.

Australia’s big four banks experienced a fall in margins between March 2014 and December 2014, from 37.3 to 36.2 per cent.

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Mortgage volumes rose for ADIs in the March 2015 quarter by 8.4 per cent to $1.7 trillion, compared to the same period 12 months prior.

Banks’ mortgage volumes rose by 8.6 per cent to 1.6 trillion, while the majors’ volumes rose 8.3 per cent to $1.4 trillion.

ADIs collectively increased the value of their assets by 13.1 per cent to $4.5 trillion in the March 2015 quarter, compared to the same period 12 months prior.

The majors grew their asset value by 12.8 per cent to $3.5 trillion, while building societies experienced a 0.6 per cent increase to $23.5 billion. The value of assets for credit unions dropped by 0.3 per cent to $41.0 billion.

The stats are released as JP Morgan has warned the banks against a "lazy" response to mortgage portfolio repricing in the wake of Basel 4 transition. 

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