Bendigo Bank on Monday announced half-yearly after-tax profits of $231.7 million for the current financial year, but its managing director expects its ATM fees to remain.
The bank’s cash earnings of $225.3 million for the six months to December 2017 was a 10.7 percent increase on the prior corresponding period.
The financial institution also posted profits of $429.6 million for the 2016-2017 financial year.
For the second part of 2017, the bank’s cash earnings per share were 46.8 cents, a 3.3 cent increase on the prior corresponding period.
The bank also announced a final fully franked interim dividend of 35 cents per share, up one per cent on the prior corresponding period.
The big four banks last year announced they would axe ATM fees for customers of other banks.
Bendigo Bank managing director Mike Hirst, who attributed the financial results to strong growth in loans to home-owner occupiers, said the bank would not remove its ATM fees.
He said a large part of the ATM costs – valued at $30,000 annually per machine –were paid for by community bank companies and 80 per cent of the profits made went back into the community.
Mr Hirst said the organisation’s community bank model contributed $18.4 million to the community last financial year.
The bank recently ended its standalone venture into telecommunications, announcing that Bendigo Bank Telco will merge with Bendigo Telco.
Customer service staff for Bendigo Bank Telco were based in Bendigo, but the bank gave reassurances the “vast majority” of staff will either be redeployed elsewhere in the business or transferred to Bendigo Telco.
Mr Hirst said only two of the affected staff had not been redeployed, but they were considering retiring.
A Royal Commission into misconduct in the banking, superannuation and financial services industry began on Monday.
Mr Hirst said he hoped the commission would highlight ways the industry could improve.
“We need to have the industry understand role of a bank is to feed into prosperity not off it,” he said.
Royal commissioner Kenneth Hayne, who will lead the inquiry, is expected to deliver an interim report on September 30 and a final report on February 1, 2019.