Major bank sounds alarm on bad debts

One of Australia’s largest banks has warned of an increase in bad debts ahead of the release of its financial results for the six months ending 31 March.

Last week, ANZ provided an update on the credit environment reflecting the evolving position with a small number of Australian and multi-national resources related exposures.

“Consideration of these exposures formed part of ANZ’s first quarter trading update released on 17 February when the bank disclosed the total group credit charge was anticipated to be a little above $800 million for the first half of 2016,” the group said.

“Recent developments with these institutional exposures, however, mean the total group credit charge for the first half is expected to increase by at least $100 million.”

ANZ’s acting CFO Graham Hodges said the overall credit environment remained broadly stable, but the bank was continuing to see “pockets of weakness” associated with low commodity prices in the resources sector and related industries.

“This is a challenging part of the cycle for these customers with implications for the banking sector as individual circumstances evolve,” Mr Hodges said.

“We are continuing to monitor ANZ’s exposures carefully and we will keep investors up-to-date with any changes to the credit outlook.”

ANZ’s financial results for the six months ending 31 March will be announced on 3 May 2016.

[Related: ANZ rejects 'toxic culture' allegations]

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