Auswide boosts mortgage approvals, lifts margin

Auswide Bank has announced an 8.5 per cent increase in home loan approvals for the 2014-15 financial year.

The bank's home loan approvals for 2014-15 totalled $449 million, an increase of 8.5 per cent compared with 2013-14 ($414 million).

Auswide said its mortgage growth was balanced between first party and third-party channels, resulting from training investments in the retail network and better management of its broker and mortgage alliance platform.

Announcing its full-year results on Friday, the Queensland-based lender reported an underlying net profit after tax (NPAT) of $13.1 million, up 7.4 per cent over the 12 months to 30 June.

Organic loan growth of 4.8 per cent was in line with system growth for Queensland and a creditable performance given flat system growth in traditional central and north Queensland markets, the group said in a trading update.

The bank also upped its net interest margin over the year by four points from 175 to 179.

“In our first reporting period as a bank, Auswide has made significant progress in strengthening and repositioning the business, which has restored organic growth and continued to build the momentum for improving performance,” Auswide Bank managing director Martin Barrett said.

“We commenced a comprehensive branch and omni-channel transformation program, invested in training our distribution teams to improve financial performance and customer experience, and expanded our IT capabilities to allow us to more quickly and efficiently process loan applications,” Mr Barrett said.

“Through a combination of our rebranding, improved third-party relationships and new online and digital services, for the first time Auswide Bank has truly national reach.”

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