BNZ supports business-led recovery in New Zealand


The Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today released its half-year result as at March 31, 2021 and is focused on supporting businesses large and small to lead New Zealand’s economic recovery.

BNZ announced that its statutory net profit increased by $ 293 million (or 80%) to $ 660 million, due to the non-repetition of notable items from March 2020 and a strong rebound in the economy. New Zealand. Excluding notable items, statutory net income increased $ 64 million (13%) compared to the prior comparable period.

BNZ CEO Angela Mentis says BNZ’s result is proof of a stronger and faster recovery than expected.

“The continued resilience of our economy is a testament to New Zealand’s effective response, as well as the creativity and courage of businesses in the face of the pandemic,” she said.

Company-led takeover

Ms Mentis says: “An effective and determined government and Reserve Bank response, coupled with a strong banking and business sector, helped New Zealand weather the storm.

“As we did during GFC, we have supported over 10,000 business clients and the vast majority have shifted from focusing on survival to growth,” she says.

Ms Mentis said that BNZ’s determination to support businesses led her to use the entire allocation of the government business finance guarantee program and to use the Bank’s loan finance program. reserve to develop a new $ 1 billion (Good to Grow) program designed to support companies’ ambitions to go digital, increase sustainability and productivity and develop new products.

“BNZ is well positioned to support New Zealand businesses to build the more sustainable, productive and inclusive economy we all want. New Zealand SMEs will play a key role here and helping business leaders make bold appeals will keep our economy growing, ”she says.

New Zealanders invest in their homes

“Being at home during the lockdown has seen many of our clients decide to make improvements and take on home improvement projects. We have seen a 20% increase in the number of clients investing in renovations, ”says Mentis.

Ms. Mentis says she is happy that over the past six months BNZ has helped nearly 15,000 homeowners, including helping around 2,300 clients buy or build their first home.

Sustainable New Zealand

Ms Mentis said BNZ is well capitalized to support the business-led recovery and is committed to working with clients to become more sustainable and help reduce New Zealand’s emissions.

“During this semester, we made a commitment to provide $ 10 billion in sustainable financing by 2025 and to help clients switch to less intensive business methods,” she says.

Ms Mentis said BNZ’s agricultural sustainability loan for Southern Pastures, a first of its kind in New Zealand, will be the first in a long series and she is excited to work with her clients to fight the change. climate.

“This year, we launched the Digital Climate Action Toolkit and our ambitious goal is to help over 100,000 SME clients increase the sustainability of their operations. New Zealand is well positioned to make sustainable development a business advantage, ”she said.

Building an inclusive and productive economy

Ms Mentis says digital acceleration offers New Zealand a fantastic opportunity to build a more inclusive, productive and efficient economy that could lead to potential gains of tens of billions of dollars over the next decade if done right. .

“The future is digital and it is important that no one is left behind.

“We organize digital education sessions in our branches and in partnership with the local government. Our dedicated team of over 70s and over 50s have had over 9,000 conversations per month to help customers get comfortable online banking, and our Scam Savvy tools have helped tens of thousands of Kiwis to be safer online, ”she said.

Ms. Mentis says customers have changed the way they do their banking. Almost 75% of BNZ clients are digitally active and engaged and 80% of transactions that were previously done in branches are now carried out through smart ATMs, online or over the phone.

She says BNZ is also stepping up its support for people in vulnerable situations and, in addition to taking a major milestone in March this year, with $ 10 million in free, low-interest, and interest-free loans offered. people with limited incomes, BNZ has also established a partnership with PaySauce. to launch BNZ PayNow, a way for people to access wages early and avoid resorting to extorted predatory lenders.

Key financial elements

* Note: compared to the semester ended March 31, 2020, unless otherwise indicated.

  • Statutory net income of $ 660 million increased $ 293 million (or 80%).
  • Excluding notable items, statutory net income increased $ 64 million (or 13%).
  • Loans and advances to customers increased 1.3%, supported by growth in mortgage loans.
  • Deposits and other borrowings increased 1.0%.
  • Credit impairment reversal / (charge) $ 17 million, down $ 168 million.
  • Over 97% of clients with COVID-19 home loan deferrals have resumed their regular payments.
  • KiwiSaver funds under management $ 3.6 billion, up 32%.
  • Total capital ratio 16.0% – over $ 10 billion of total capital invested in New Zealand.
  • No ordinary dividend paid to parent company BNZ in Australia.

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Joan Ferguson

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