NAB earnings jump to $3.48b, hikes dividend

National Australia Bank has reported rising cash earnings and hiked its interim dividend, after chief executive Ross McEwan said the major bank had seen the fastest growth in business lending since the global financial crisis.

NAB on Thursday reported cash earnings of $3.48 billion for the six months to March 31, an increase of 4.1 per cent on the prior period, and shareholders will receive an interim dividend of 73¢ per share, up from 60¢ the prior period.

NAB chief executive Ross McEwan.Credit:.

McEwan said the half-year results were proof the bank’s strategy was delivering good results for customers and shareholders, and “focused investment” had been key to delivering strong momentum.

“We are producing better and faster experiences and getting the basics right more consistently. This has been achieved during a period of increased customer activity across all divisions of the bank, including the fastest growth in business lending since the GFC,” he said.

NAB reported cash earnings had increased across its business bank by 17.5 per cent to $1.4 billion and institutional bank by 3.1 per cent to $806 million, while it had decreased by 8.3 per cent to $788 million in personal banking.

The big four bank increased its provision for bad loans by $2 million, as it braces for the potential impact of higher inflation and interest rates, following moves by the central bank to increase the official cash rate by 25 basis points this week.

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