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CBA home lending ticks up in FY22

Commonwealth Bank of Australia has reported home lending grew by 7.4 per cent over the financial year 2022, but slowed in the latter half amid rate rises. 

The big four bank released its FY22 results on Wednesday (10 August), which covered the year to 30 June, and reported a cash net profit after tax over the financial year of $9.6 billion, marking an 11 per cent rise.

It said the “strong financial result” was due to a continued focus on customers and operational and strategic execution.

Home lending in particular saw an increase of $36.4 billion (7 per cent), compared to FY21.

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Australian home loans accounted for $556 billion, up from $516 billion, of which 71 per cent were owner-occupied, 28 per cent were investment home loans and 2 per cent were lines of credit.

The bank also detailed 60 per cent of home lending settlements were made through its proprietary channels in the second half of the year, after a slight drop due to new business lending.

However, given the cash rate had increased 175 bps since May, the final six months of the financial year also saw funding for new home loans drop (around 20 per cent), which CBA chief executive Matt Comyn attributed to economic headwinds and uncertain times.

Mr Comyn said the bank made some “deliberate choices” to increase fixed-rate pricing that resulted in some loss of momentum, as well as the shift towards investments away from owner-occupier.

“We’ve seen a marked shift from owner-occupier and first home buyers towards refinances and investors, some of which has been driven by the increase in the cash rate,” Mr Comyn said.

He also noted “intense competition” and escalation in price-based offers, resulting in the bank’s disciplined approach to managing volume, margin and risk.

“We remain extremely focused on proactively engaging with our customers as they approach fixed-rate maturities,” Mr Comyn said.

"Given that 40% of mortgages are fixed, and the majority will mature in the next two years, the impact of rising rates will continue to grow."

The report also noted loan impairment expenses decreased by $911 million to a benefit of $357 million, driven by reduced COVID-19 overlays, which were partly offset by increased forward-looking adjustments, for emerging risks such as inflation, supply chain disruptions and interest rate rises.

Consumer arrears, which include home loans, credit cards and personal loans, all remained low as a result of “good origination quality, low unemployment, and significant household savings buffers”, the bank reported.

Business lending was up 13.6 per cent ($15.4 billion), household deposits lifted 13.2 per cent ($40.9 billion), and business deposits were up 15.1 per cent ($23.9 billion) on FY21.

The banks also reported commissions decreased by $255 million or 10 per cent to $2309 million, in part due to the divestment of Aussie Home Loans on 3 May 2021.

Overall, CBA has delivered an 11 per cent uplift in cash net profit after tax of $9.6 billion following a year of continued focus on “service to customers, disciplined operational and strategic execution”.

Underscoring the ongoing improvements at the core business and strategic levels, Mr Comyn said the bank was focused on “strengthening relationships with customers”, which had resulted in growth in deposit and lending volumes to household and business customers.

“Our operating performance was higher as a result of this continued volume growth and profitability was further supported by sound portfolio credit quality,” Mr Comyn said.

“However, many of our customers have been impacted by devastating natural disasters and rising cost of living pressures. Around the world geopolitical tensions have created additional uncertainty in financial markets.”

[Related: REA mortgage settlements lift FY22]

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