ANZ has unveiled a decline in its cash profit, attributing it to a rise in borrowers falling ‘past due’ on their loans.

ANZ reported a surge in homeowners falling behind on their mortgages, with the value of past due loans rising by 22 percent over the past year, as stated in their Tuesday report.

Despite indications of households grappling with successive interest rate hikes and rising living costs, CEO Shayne Elliott emphasized that the numbers were still “remarkably low.”

There was a notable spike in loans now 60-89 days past due, increasing by 63 percent in the 12 months to March. Additionally, loans now 90+ days past due have risen by 39 percent over the same period, with ANZ attributing these increases across all aging categories to home loans.

Mr. Elliott acknowledged the data indicating stress due to factors like interest rates, bracket creep, and escalating expenses but suggested it was less severe than pre-COVID times. He emphasized that the numbers remained relatively low, even compared to pre-pandemic levels.

The ANZ chief attributed this partly to the stringent approval process for home loans or credit cards.

With expectations of prolonged higher interest rates as the Reserve Bank tackles persistent inflation, Mr. Elliott conceded that the number of customers facing financial difficulties could rise.

Despite this, he noted that 79 percent of ANZ home loan customers were ahead on their repayments. However, he acknowledged the likelihood of more customers experiencing stress due to ongoing interest rate pressures.

He stressed the importance of having a robust bank like ANZ, capable of providing support to customers in need during challenging times.

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