BankWest’s profit ‘disappointing’

The Bank of Western Australia's group managing director, Terry Budge, has described the bank's interim results as “disappointing” but says it “will do better”.

In line with its profit warning earlier this month, BankWest reported a net profit of $79.1 million for the six months to June 30, 1.5 per cent lower than for the same period last year. Pressure on interest margins and a slower growth in business banking were major factors in the profit dip. Business loans grew 3.4 per cent to $8.8 billion, making up 43.7 per cent of BankWest's total loan book. A total of 58 full-time equivalent staff have been added to the small to medium-sized business operations.

Mr Budge said that he is optimistic about the future but the bank must maintain a focus on upheavals in global markets and their potential impact on consumer and business confidence. Initiatives in the SME market, neighbourhood banking and interstate expansion are the key future revenue drivers for the bank. Mr Budge said that early indications of SME initiative results are “promising”.

After the profit warning, management needs to impress, said Mr Budge, and show that it's capable of delivering on its strategies.