ANZ posts 20pc growth in profits

Australia and New Zealand Banking, Australia’s fourth-largest lender, posted a 20 per cent rise in core half-year profit yesterday, driven by a sharp fall in bad-debt charges.

ANZ posted a profit before one-off items of A$2.3bn (£1.4bn), up from A$1.9bn a year earlier, and raised its interim dividend by 13 per cent to 52 cents a share.

A rebounding Australian economy helped its banks weather the financial crisis and tame the threat of bad debts but demand for loans from businesses has been slow and the banks also face rising costs of funds.