Westpac notched up over $2 billion in profits during the last three months of 2018, 6.8 per cent more than in previous quarters, helped by wider margins and lower costs for compensation. The country’s second-largest bank reported unaudited cash earnings in the December quarter of $2.04 billion, which compared with a quarterly average of $1.91 billion in the previous six months. Westpac shares are up 0.6 per cent to $26.40.
Westpac’s trading update on Monday came as Bank of Queensland flagged that its earnings would be up to 9 per cent lower this half, due to a slump in its fee income. BoQ, which reports its results in April, said on Monday that based on current performance, it was on track to make $165 million to $170 million in the half, compared with $182 million last year. Shares are down 6 per cent to $9.35.
While Westpac profits rose, it said earnings in the previous half had been bogged down by compensation costs. Before remediation costs, profits in the second half of 2018 would have been $2.05 billion, slightly more than in the most recent quarter.