Great Southern Bank’s net profit jumped 31.6 percent to $49.10 million driven by strong revenue growth and lower funding costs.
Total income increased 9.58 percent to $328.3 million, and at the same time, the cost of funding remained at historically low levels.
Operating costs rose 11.1 percent to $255.80 million although this included a one-off cost of $4.5 million related to the sale of the bank’s health business.
Risk and compliance costs comprised the largest part of the increased spend, following heavy investment in Open Banking and uplifted capability in anti-money laundering.
The bank highlighted technology investments that simplified its home loan application process as a key achievement for the year. The technology upgrade has resulted in a faster online home loan applications process for personal customers and brokers.
After the rollout, home loan applications were up 31 percent over the year, with momentum continuing into the new financial year, the lender said.
Active customer numbers rose to over 420,329 on the back of competitive offerings and ongoing infrastructure investment designed to improve and safeguard the customer experience.
Retail customer deposits increased 1.6 percent to $11.26 billion. Great Southern Bank (formerly CUA), has assets of 16 .30 billion
“We saw strong growth in the second half of 2021 and have set ourselves up well for growth opportunities over the next three years,” said Paul Lewis, chief executive of Great Southern Bank.
“After gathering feedback from over 25,000 customers we have enabled improved digital customer interfaces and created clever savings features that allow customers to reach their financial goals faster. We’ve also continued to invest in cyber resilience that protects our customers into the future.”
Partnerships and takeovers
Lewis flagged further efficiencies by increasing scale through finding a partner or making acquisitions.
“We continue to provide community funding to help in three key areas – housing affordability, family violence, and digital inclusion.”
Though over 99 percent of the almost 5,400 members helped during the peak of the crisis have now finished their financial assistance, Lewis said volumes remain 30 percent higher than before the pandemic.
CUA Health contributed $9.3 million for the year up from $6.1 million.
Capital adequacy increased from 14.4 percent to 14.6 percent.