Kiwibank today announced a net profit after tax of $98m for the six months to 31 December 2022, up 53% on the same time last year.
Kiwibank Chief Executive, Steve Jurkovich, said while the bank’s strong first half reflected the resilience of the New Zealand economy during the period, the second half would likely be dominated by the impact of higher interest rates, rising inflation, and the recent extreme weather events in the North Island.
“We’re contacting customers who’ve been impacted by the recent weather events to offer the support they need in what we think will be an extended recovery period. Those who need our help will receive it.”
Mr Jurkovich said Kiwibank would make an initial donation of $250,000 to the recovery effort, this is on top of the local support it had already provided through the donation of generators to isolated communities.
“Banks have to be able to be resilient to significant shocks, tougher market cycles and conditions. We are ready to do that,” he said.
Supporting customers in need
“Right now, our team is focused on providing customers with access to the information and tools they need to make informed decisions. We continue to encourage customers to contact us if they need to discuss their situation, and we’re contacting customers directly who we think may need support,” said Mr Jurkovich.
“The exact support we can offer will depend on personal circumstances but could include reducing repayments to the minimum regular amount, restructuring the loan, extending the loan term or temporary interest-only repayments.”
To date Kiwibank has seen no significant uplifts in home lending defaults within normal seasonal levels, but that could change over the following period and had been reflected in the bank’s provisioning.
Becoming the bank of choice for even more Kiwi homeowners and businesses
Mr Jurkovich said the bank grew its home lending book by $0.6b (1.5 x the banking system) during the first half, as Kiwibank continued to deepen its relationship with advisers and grow the expertise of its own home loan specialist team.
At the same time, Kiwibank continued to be the fastest growing major bank in business lending in the New Zealand market, with lending growth of $0.5b for the half (4.2x the banking system).
“Being 100% New Zealand owned is a key reason why New Zealand businesses continue to choose us,” said Mr Jurkovich.
He said while business lending had returned to pre-Covid levels as confidence returned, the bank was taking action to support customers during this latest downturn.
“This means working with businesses to understand where they are in the cycle, how this impacts their business, and providing the appropriate level of support they need.”
Mr Jurkovich said there had been strong backing for the bank’s sustainable finance offerings, which are available to all Kiwi businesses regardless of size.
Since the launch in September 2022 Kiwibank had delivered more than $23m in sustainable finance - including lending to B Corp Certified customers.
Looking ahead, Mr Jurkovich said Kiwibank has never been more committed to deliver on its Purpose of Kiwi making Kiwi better off. It’s in tough times that Kiwi need their bank to step up and support them.
“Our goal is to be the bank of choice for even more Kiwi – drawing on our unique position as the biggest New Zealand-owned bank, our competitive offers, and by continuing to provide expertise around the products and services that make Kiwi better off.”
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