Bendigo Bank withdraws 2H20 commentary


Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has withdrawn its second-half outlook commentary due to uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic.

The regional lender said in February it expected growth to continue in its mortgage lending, small business portfolio and commercial real estate business.

However, on Thursday it said the current environment had made it prudent to withdraw its second-half outlook commentary.

The company is yet to confirm whether it will suspend a decision on its dividend payments after APRA last week urged banks to conserve capital to assist the economy.

The Bank of Queensland was on April 8 the first Australian bank to defer decision-making on its first-half dividend.

Bendigo in February launched a $300 million capital raising and slashed its interim dividend from 35 cents to 31 cents, fully franked, after rising costs weighed heavily on its first-half result.

The bank saw its first-half statutory net profit drop 28 per cent to $145.8 million, while its cash earnings dropped 2.0 per cent to $215.4 million.

However, Bendigo told the ASX on Thursday its balance sheet remained strong and its capital position was “well above” banking regulator APRA’s benchmark target.

Bendigo managing director Marnie Baker said the bank had been actively engaging its customers during the coronavirus crisis.

“As Australia’s fifth-biggest retail bank and one of Australia’s most trusted brands, Bendigo is in a very strong position to support customers, staff and communities throughout this pandemic and beyond,” she said.

“We’re here to help them through this.”

Bendigo shares were $6.19 before trade on Thursday and are more than 37 per cent lower in 2020 against a 18.21 per cent downturn for the wider ASX/200.

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