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Customer growth underpins robust first-half for Great Southern Bank

  • 18,945 new customers joined the bank in the six months to 31 December 2022, 6.6 per cent more than the same time last year
  • $1.89 billion in new home loans issued during the period
  • Group H1 NPAT increased to $31.65 million, with the bank in a strong position to invest in further growth and customer initiatives during H2.
  • Consolidated Group assets up 4.8 per cent to $17.94 billion
  • Retail deposits up 2.8 per cent to $12.08 billion

Great Southern Bank today announced a strong first-half performance, headlined by continued support for homebuyers and for younger customers saving for a deposit.

CEO and Managing Director Paul Lewis said strong lending to first homebuyers had been a standout, with the bank supporting around 2 per cent of all Australian first-time homebuyers.

“In the first half of the year we helped twice as many first homebuyers compared to our overall market share,” Mr Lewis said.

“Our successful rebrand is helping us to attract first homebuyers and younger customers, with an average age for new customers of 27.

“More than half of our new customers for the period were under 18, with our competitive youth accounts proving incredibly popular with families. The genuine savings journey we’ve built to guide people from their first job [Goal Saver] through to saving for a home deposit [Home Saver] and eventually, buying their first home, is also supporting younger customers.”

In line with its purpose of helping all Australians to own their own home, the bank saw continued strong lending through the Government-backed Home Guarantee Scheme . During the period the bank helped around 1,350 singles, couples or families to purchase a home through the Scheme.

“Our forward momentum is strong, with December being one of our biggest ever months for issuing home loans,” said Mr Lewis.

“The 1,000 new mortgage brokers we’ve onboarded over the past six months have been key to that momentum, with an increasing number of Australians choosing to visit a broker for their home loan.”

Customers also benefited from other key improvements over the half-year, including:

  • A reduction in the average time it takes to agree a home loan to 4.4 days, with around half of all home loans now agreed within two days.
  • Over $1.9m in customer fraud losses were prevented, while the bank also increased its investment in cybersecurity to protect customer’s accounts and personal information.
  • Great Southern Bank became the first bank in Australia to offer payments technology PayTo , giving customers a simple and secure digital alternative to direct debits.

The bank recorded a Net Profit after Tax of $31.65 million with strong results reflecting a combination of factors including the financial benefit of bringing forward significant investment costs into the prior financial year, as well as strong cost and margin management. Net Interest Income (NII) for the bank increased to $181.89 million.

“As a customer-owned bank, all our profits are reinvested in our business. This solid profit result means we can continue to improve our service for customers, invest in our small business banking offering which will introduce more Australians to customer-owned banking, and puts us in a good position coming into a potentially more challenging second half,” Mr Lewis said.

While home loans remained the major driver of growth for the bank, the bank also increased its personal lending by 64.7 per cent while the overall market decreased. The result partly reflects the benefit of the bank launching competitive new personal loan rates tailored to individual customers in line with their credit histories.

The bank continued to take major steps in addressing its environmental and social responsibilities, affirming its position as a leading Australian sustainable and ethical bank. In the past six months the bank has:

  • Created over 10,000 payment plans and hardship arrangements to help customers experiencing financial difficulties.
  • Completed all the actions from its inaugural Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and is starting work on developing its second RAP.
  • Moved headquarters to a 5-Star Green Building in Brisbane, reducing its ongoing energy consumption and helping it progress towards its commitment to net zero emissions by 2040.

About Great Southern Bank

For over 75 years, we’ve been putting our customers first, and today we look after the financial needs of more than 382,000 Australians. We have changed our name from CUA to Great Southern Bank but we remain customer owned and firmly focused on helping all Australians own their own homes.