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Kiwibank posts profit and grows mortgage market share

By Jenny Ruth

Monday 21st February 2005

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 Jenny Ruth
As well as reaching a key milestone in announcing its maiden profit, Kiwibank is continuing to increase its share of the mortgage market, although its book is still relatively tiny.

The government-owned bank reported a $2.5 million net profit for the six months ended December compared with a $1.5 million net loss in the same period a year earlier.

Its mortgage book grew to $1.23 billion from $1.017 billion at June 30 and just $776.640 million at the end of December 2003.

Using Reserve Bank figures on lending on housing by registered banks, that means its market share has risen from 0.9% in December 2003 to 1.24% in December 2004.

The average value of the bank's mortgages is also rising from $127,5000 in December 2003 $135,859 in December 2004.

"It is clear the public has embraced the concept of a nationwide bank owned by New Zealanders," says chief executive Sam Knowles, adding that the bank's growth has exceeded everybody's expectations.

Kiwibank will also announce a profit for the full year, he says.

Knowles says the growth in the homeloans book was particularly pleasing because of the competitive environment and significant price cutting by the large foreign-owned banks.

"The price war certainly had an impact on Kiwibank but we remained competitive in the market and had the back up of our homeloan guarantee," Knowles says.

Kiwibank guarantees its customers that it will provide a lower cost homeloan over a six year period than those provided by the major banks.

Other key figures are that total income rose 44% to $52.3 million while operating expenses rose only 28.4% to $47.7 million.

Its net interest income to average total assets dipped slightly to 2.64% from 2.68% in the six months ended December 2003.

The bank's retail deposits rose 23% to $1.18 billion while customer numbers through its 306 outlets were up 20%to 299,760.

During the six months, the bank launched its ATM network and will have 300 machines operating by the end of June. It has also launched text banking services.

It has also branched out into business banking with a pilot program launched in November and which will be expanded to a full national service through this year.

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