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Mutual bank reports record loan book growth

The Tasmania-based lender has attributed its growth to the state’s “continuing demand in housing”.

Regional lender Bank of us has announced its 2023 financial year results, revealing it achieved record funding and loan book growth over the year.

Bank of us is Tasmania’s only customer-owned bank, with 33,600 customers and seven retail stores statewide.

The lender revealed it approved a record $401 million in loans over FY23, up from $363.37 million in FY22. This delivered landmark loan book growth of $138 million, bringing its total book to $1.26 billion, an increase from $1.12 billion the previous year.

Bank of us chair Helen Galloway commented that, despite the pressure the current economic cycle placed on household budgets, the Tasmanian housing sector remained relatively strong.

She added: “We have benefited from continuing demand in housing and it has helped us build a solid, sustainable business.

“We are valued by Tasmanians and we thank our customers for their loyalty and support.”

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Given the growth in mortgage lending, the bank’s market share of Tasmanian housing finance grew to 10.32 per cent, an increase from FY22 when it only had 7.68 per cent.

The lender also revealed it achieved a 14 per cent growth in total assets over the year to reach $1.55 billion.

The mutual bank attributed its growth to the state’s continuing demand for housing, with its chief executive Paul Ranson accrediting the lender’s record underlying after-tax profit result of $9.4 million to the “above system growth in the bank’s loan book” and higher interest rates.

Despite the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) rapid rate hikes over the last financial year, Bank of us noted that the company had not experienced an increase in bad debts “nor has there been any forward-looking information that indicates an increase in bad debts is likely”.

Ms Galloway reiterated that the bank’s positive results demonstrated the effective delivery of its strategic priority of getting Tasmanians into homes.

She stated: “Since our beginnings in 1870, housing finance has been our focus and our results this year show we’ve remained true to our purpose.”

The non-major bank also emphasised its position as the exclusive lender for the Tasmanian government’s MyHome program, a shared equity scheme to help Tasmanians on a low-to-moderate income get into their own home sooner.

In the first 12 months of the program 162 property purchases were completed.

[Related: 4 Australian mutuals become 2]

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