BOQ LIFTS PROFIT & RATES

BOQ LIFTS PROFIT & RATES
BANK of Queensland (ASX: BOQ) has posted a profit and decided to lift its interest rates independent of the Reserve Bank and majors.

The company's after tax profit was up 7 per cent to $179 million.

Also announced today, BOQ's rates for owner occupiers will go up by 0.12 per cent to 5.74 per cent and by 0.25 per cent for investors from April 15.

Meanwhile, the RBA on Tuesday left the benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record low of 2 per cent. 

BOQ managing director and CEO Jon Sutton says the company's first half result was due to faster loan growth, lower bad debts and its Investec acquisition.

"Over the half, we continued to make good strategic progress while successfully balancing our growth, margin and risk priorities in a market featuring high levels of competition, volatile wholesale funding markets and regulatory uncertainty," he says.

"Our ability to navigate these challenges and deliver a positive half year result reflects the underlying strength of our business and positions us well for the future."

Housing mortgage growth for the half was $1.7 billion, at 6x the system, driven by strong growth through BOQ Specialist and the broker network.

"The successful implementation of our strategy is evident," says Sutton.

"It has helped diversify our housing loan book geographically with 62 per cent of lending settlements in the half originating from outside Queensland."

BOQ will pay an interim dividend of 38c per share fully franked, up 2c on first half 2015.


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