ANZ posts $1.8 billion profit despite 'challenging' year

ANZ New Zealand has posted a profit of $1.8 billion
ANZ New Zealand has posted a profit of $1.8 billion Photo credit: Newshub

ANZ New Zealand has posted a $1.8 billion net profit after tax despite it having a "challenging" year.

The bank reported on Thursday it's annual profit was down 8 percent on last year's record. 

The sale of One Path Life and its 25 percent stake in Paymark had boosted its cash profit to $1.9 billion. 

Acting chief executive officer Antonia Watson said in a statement the company's full-year result reflected a solid underlying performance, saying it had been a challenging 12 months for ANZ New Zealand reputationally.

"It has been a transformative year for our industry. While reviews by the FMA and RBNZ concluded the widespread misconduct issues in Australia were not found in New Zealand they helped us take stock of where we are today, what we’re doing well and what we could do better for our customers, and were making changes," Watson said.

"Beyond those reviews we have faced our own challenges. Despite our tough year our people have continued to put our customers first every day."

ANZ reported customer deposits were up 5 per cent and gross lending was up 4 per cent. Drops in the Official Cash Rate had seen more homebuyers enter the market. 

Watson said the outlook for the New Zealand economy was good,  which was promising for businesses in 2020.

"Demand for commodity exports is healthy, construction activity is firm, plus lower interest rates and an easing NZD are supporting activity. Growth is expected to start lifting as easier monetary conditions make an impact," she said.