Christchurch provisions hit SBS Bank's March Qtr profit

SBS Bank's March quarter profit nearly halved because of provisions against unquantifiable potential losses from the Christchurch earthquake while its mortgage book shrank slightly.

Friday, July 1st 2011, 9:21AM

by Jenny Ruth

The bank's annual report shows net profit for the three months ended March fell to $2.7 million from $4.9 million in the March quarter last year, taking annual net profit to $14.2 million, down 5.2% on the previous year.

SBS' charges against profit for bad loans jumped to $8.1 million from $5 million in the year-earlier quarter. "Though we have the comfort of knowing our lending is secured by first mortgage security, with replacement insurance a mandatory requirement, we have taken a precautionary $3.55 million provision against potential, but unknown, losses from the earthquake," the report says.

SBS's mortgage book eased $13.3 million to $1.81 billion in the three months and compared with $1.72 billion at March 31 last year. The bank says its total lending for the year grew $125 million but went backwards slightly after taking into account the $144 million in loans it acquired with the takeover of the Hastings Building Society.

The bank's loan-to-valuation (LVR) table shows 3.5% of its mortgages had LVRs between 80% and 90% and 17.3% had LVRs between 90% and 100% of which 80% were government-backed Welcome Home Loans.

SBS is the last of the home-lending banks to report this quarter and its market share is now 1.08% - that's using on-balance sheet mortgages included in each bank's LVR table.

Unfortunately, because figures prepared on the same basis aren't available for Westpac for previous quarters, and no other set of figures provides comparable results for all the banks, it's impossible to say how much the market for mortgages issued by registered banks grew or shrank in the quarter or how much each bank's market share rose or fell.

However, the aggregate figures show the mortgages written by registered banks at March 31 totalled $167.62 billion.

ANZ Bank is the largest mortgage lender with 32% of the market, followed by ASB Bank with 22.35%, Westpac with 20.46%, Bank of New Zealand with 15.95%, Kiwibank with 6.16%, TSB Bank with 1.41%, SBS as above and HSBC with 0.58%.

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