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Banks beef up provisions in expectation of bad SME debts

Staff Reporter 1 minute read

First half banking results released by ANZ and NAB this week have highlighted an increasingly gloomy outlook for Australia’s business community.

Opening the interim profit reporting season for the major banks yesterday NAB said it expected bad debts to balloon to $1.8 billion as weak business conditions infiltrated the wider business sector, The Australian reported.

ANZ, in its first half report released today, revealed an increase in its bad loan provisions to $1.5 billion.

“We will see a hit to the commercial sector and SMEs (small-to-medium enterprises) for the rest of the calendar year 2009,” ANZ chief executive Mike Smith said.

Both the banks’ amplified bad loan provisions came off the back of declines in net profits;  ANZ’s first half profit fell 28 per cent to $1.42 billion while NAB’s fell 0.9 per cent to $2.66 billion.

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Banks beef up provisions in expectation of bad SME debts
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