Westpac’s retail and business banking unit (Westpac RBB) has reported cash earnings of A$2.8bn for the full year ended 30 September 2015, up 8% compared to A$2.6bn a year ago.
The division’s loan and deposit increased by 6% and 7% respectively, driven by record customer growth of over 191,000.
Non-interest income saw a 1% rise, primarily driven by increased foreign exchange related income and higher business line fees, partially offset by lower credit card fees.
Expenses were up by 4% from higher investment in branches as well as costs associated with the launch of the new Westpac Live online/mobile platform.
The expense to income ratio dropped a further 91 basis points over the year, though impairment charges were higher mainly owing to a lower benefit from the reduction in stressed exposures and an increase in direct write-offs in line with prior period growth in the consumer portfolio, the lender said in its earnings statement.
Overall, the banking group registered cash earnings of A$7.82bn for full year 2015, up 3% compared to a year earlier.
Westpac CEO Brian Hartzer said: "Australian retail and business banking has been the key driver of performance, with Westpac RBB increasing cash earnings by 8% and St. George up by 7%. The New Zealand division also reported a 6% increase in cash earnings (in NZ$).
"All divisions continued to grow their businesses and are in good shape. However, some market headwinds contributed to a softer performance in our wealth and institutional businesses."