Big four bank defers dividend decision as profits plummet

The bank’s profits fell more than 50 per cent off the back of COVID-19, and it will defer its dividend decision until there is “greater clarity” on the pandemic’s impacts.

ANZ’s cash profits fell 62 per cent, while statutory profit after tax fell 51 per cent driven primarily by credit impairment charges of $1.67 billion that included increased credit reserves for COVID-19 impacts of $1.03 billion.

“This was a reasonable result given the tough trading conditions being experienced before the crisis hit,” said chief executive Shayne Elliott.

“We maintained our focus on productivity and continued to target balance sheet growth in our preferred segments. Loan losses heading into March were at historically low-levels and we are well positioned to manage the higher credit charges taken as a result of COVID-19.”

ANZ will also defer a decision on its interim dividend.

“This decision is not about our current financial position and ANZ has not received any concerns from APRA regarding our level of capital,” said chairman David Gonski.

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“The board agrees with the regulator’s guidance that deferring a decision on the 2020 interim dividend is prudent given the present economic uncertainty and that making a decision at this time would not have been appropriate.

“This was a very difficult decision and the board considered all options available as we understand the impact this will have on those shareholders who rely on dividends.”

More to come.

Big four bank defers dividend decision as profits plummet
ANZ
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