Westpac Bank First-Half Cash Profit Falls 70%

May 3, 2020 Updated: May 3, 2020

Westpac, one of the top four banks in Australia, has deferred a decision on its interim payout to shareholders after posting a 70 per cent drop in first-half cash earnings following a hefty impairment charge due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The lender reported cash earnings fell to $993 million for the six months ended March 31, from $3.30 billion a year earlier.

The bank last week announced a $1.6 billion impairment for potential loan defaults due to the COVID-19 related shutdown and has also provisioned $900 million for a potential penalty related to AUSTRAC proceedings.