Bushfire claims hit Suncorp

Banking group Suncorp has received 400 claims resulting from the NSW bushfires in the last two weeks, which is likely to cost the group between $60 million and $70 million.

The group carries a full-year natural hazard events allowance of $565 million.

Suncorp Group CEO Patrick Snowball said that now that the fires are contained, the company will begin the task of helping customers rebuild their homes and communities.

Assessors from Suncorp have already been deployed to the affected areas.

In an announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), the group also reported an increase in total lending of 0.3 per cent over the quarter to $48.3 billion, with home lending increasing 1.1 per cent to $37.5 billion.

Suncorp Bank CEO David Forster said lending growth continued due to strong branch distribution in growth regions complemented by customer acquisition through improved serving of brokers.

“Home lending continues to benefit from investments in channel and geographic expansion to deliver broad-based growth across major national markets,” said Mr Forster.

He also said the group would continue to grow and strengthen its business by meeting the needs of its customers with a “simple and attractive product suite, as they look for alternatives to the major banks”.

Suncorp suffered an impairment loss of $18 million for the quarter, but this was within the medium-term expectation.

A reduction in gross impaired assets of 7.7 per cent to $467 million reflected the sale of Suncorp’s non-core portfolio.

The residual balance of the non-core portfolio has now been reduced by $340 million over the quarter, down to $395 million.

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