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CBA records 28% rise in bad loans

The Commonwealth Bank’s $4.8 billion profit for the half year to December 2015 has been overshadowed by a $564 million loan impairment expense.

CBA reported a net profit after tax of $4.8 billion, up 4 per cent on the prior corresponding period.

The bank also recorded total income of $12.42 billion, operating expenses of $5.22 billion and a loan impairment expense of $564 million.

CBA’s loan impairment expense is up 3 per cent on the June 2015 half-year, and up 28 per cent on the December 2014 half-year.

Commenting on the result, CBA chief executive Ian Narev said while there are some “mild” impairments in the bank’s loan book, “overall” there are no problems.

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Nor are there any leading indicators showing up in the loan book when the arrears ratio of upgrades to downgrades is considered, Mr Narev noted.

“We have teams of people whose full-time job is to stress test. And they stress test house prices, oil prices, macroeconomic [conditions and] funding costs,” he said.

“We’re not seeing any signs of [problems in the loan book] at the moment, and you can see that through our results.

“But we all need to be cautious in these and all environments, and our stakeholders can rest assured that we’re not taking for granted that credit conditions will always remain good, but the result shows today that things are steady.”

[Related: CBA increasingly reliant on brokers]

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