NAB’s cash earnings boosted as economic conditions improve

National Australia Bank has reported its cash earnings are growing and loan deferrals are falling, in a trading update chief executive Ross McEwan said was underpinned by encouraging health and economic conditions.

NAB’s cash earnings for the July quarter were 47 per cent higher than the quarterly average of the first six months of last year, partly due to lower credit impairment charges, it said.

NAB CEO Ross McEwan says the bank’s quarterly performance is sound.
NAB CEO Ross McEwan says the bank’s quarterly performance is sound.Credit:Jesse Marlow

NAB reported $1.7 billion in unaudited statutory net profit and $1.65 billion in unaudited cash earnings for the quarter, identical figures to those reported during the corresponding period last year.

Mr McEwan said the performance had been “sound” in the competitive, low interest rate environment.


“Improving economic and health outcomes in Australia and New Zealand are encouraging as are the reductions we are seeing in deferral balances,” he said. “However, there are still a number of uncertainties requiring further clarity.”

Mr McEwan said ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and the tapering off government support will have an impact on the big four bank and its customers.

NAB provided an update on its loan deferrals, which have now fallen to around $2 billion for businesses and $1 billion for home loans as of December 31, compared to peaks of $19 billion for business and $38 billion for home loans.

Also included in the quarterly update, NAB reported lower markets income had pushed revenue down by 3 per cent but expenses fell by 1 per cent as managements forges on with its strategy of streamlining processes.

The bank has approved more than 4000 home loans using the federal government’s first home loan deposit scheme, which allows first home buyers to pay only a 5 per cent deposit and removes the need to pay for costly lenders mortgage insurance.

Mr McEwan said implementation of the bank’s strategy was “proceeding well”.

“While there is still much to do, it is pleasing to see momentum building in our core businesses as we simplify and streamline out processes and policies and enhance our digital offerings.”

More to come

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