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Mortgage strength drives Westpac profit

by Staff Reporter8 minute read
The Adviser

Above average industry growth in home lending has helped Westpac to top expectations and deliver a first-quarter cash profit of $1.6 billion.

The bank, which bulked up with the $12 billion acquisition of St George in 2008, is emerging as one of the best placed lenders following the global financial crisis.

According to an ASX announcement, Westpac’s mortgage growth in the first quarter of 2010 is 1.8 times greater than the corresponding period last year, and 1.5 times greater than the growth recorded throughout the 2009 financial year.

Lending was up 1.7 per cent from the September 2009 quarter, with “virtually all growth in mortgages”, according to the statement.

The major also said it had $21 billion in term funding in the first quarter of 2010, including $2 billion mortgage securitisation.

Emphasising that Westpac was in “strong shape”, the lender’s chief executive Gail Kelly said the first quarter result “provides clear signs of an improved Australian economy”.

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