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Suncorp Group has announced its half-year results for the year ended 31 December 2022, reporting a 5.2 per cent increase to home lending over the half-year lifting $2.6 billion, “reflecting improved customer and broker experience”.
Total loans increased to $64,902 million up from $62,073 million in June 2022, with $47,874 million coming from home loans.
In addition, the business lending portfolio increased by 1.8 per cent over the half-year, predominantly driven by commercial lending growth across several industries.
Speaking to shareholders on Wednesday (8 February), group chief financial officer, Jeremy Robson, attributed the bank’s growth to “significant improvements” in turnaround times and brokers’ improved rating of the bank.
A recent Broker Pulse survey by Momentum Media found that Suncorp slashed its turnaround times by two days to three days in November.
Given the rising rate environment and fewer borrowers choosing to fix mortgages, the bank reported just 2 per cent of fixed loans during the half-year results.
“We remain alert to signs of stress given the economic environment. And the runoff of the fixed rate loan portfolio is a key watch item for the industry,” Mr Robson said.
However, it also noted that 60 per cent of customers were ahead on repayments, with over 30 per cent more than one year ahead and reported 91 per cent of new business originated at an LVR below 80 per cent.
Overall, the group reported a net profit (after tax) at $560 million, with $256 million from its Australian banking business.
ANZ-Suncorp deal on track
As the group waits for regulatory approvals to offload its banking arm to ANZ, the group’s chief executive officer Steve Johnston said the sale remains on track with plans to complete in the second half of calendar year 2023.
ANZ’s proposed acquisition of Suncorp’s banking arm is being considered by the competition watchdog and would include a cash sale of Suncorp Bank to ANZ for $4.9 billion.
“We will of course continue to update you on progress of the transaction and will also look to provide more information on the shape of Suncorp as we emerge as a pure play insurance company,” Mr Johnston said.
Despite selling off its banking arm, he said it remained “intensely focused” on delivering on the bank’s strategy and priorities.
He noted that the group’s future strategy will be driven by “continuously evolving our risk appetite, financial settings, reinsurance strategies and how we address ESG”.
“The need for continued investment in a vibrant private insurance sector has never been more important to meet the changing needs of customers, communities and our broader economies,” Mr Johnston said.
“As a leading Trans-Tasman insurer, natural hazard resilience, climate change and the affordability and accessibility of insurance will continue to be the most material issues for our industry to address.”
[Related: Suncorp bank to be sold to ANZ]