SLUGGISH lending performance was today blamed for fuelling the first loss by an Australian bank in 20 years.
Bank of Queensland (BOQ) suffered a $17.1 million loss after tax for the year to August 31, largely due to increased provisions and one-off expenses. This compares with a $158.7 million net profit in the previous fiscal period.
Loans under management for commercial were down $157.3 million to $5 billion, consumer dropped $47.5 million to $223.4 million and BOQ Finance fell $28.3 million to $3.6 billion.
The loss had been anticipated and well flagged.
However, BOQ managing director Stuart Grimshaw (pictured) says the bank has returned to profitability and is ready to deliver profitable growth to shareholders.
“We have returned to profitability in the second half following a thorough review of BOQ’s loan book, systems and processes,” he says.
“This has also included significant operational change to … redesign our operations to drive efficiency and excellence by continuing to simplify processes for staff and customers; ensure we maintain our operating cost base below the rate of inflation growth; [and] maintain a strong capital base and collective provisioning to ‘future proof’ the organisation.”
The Board of directors has approved a fully franked final dividend of 26 cents per share, which will be paid on December 8. BOQ shares today fell slightly to $7.30 per unit.
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