Australia's NAB Earnings Slide, Sees Poorer Asset Quality, Higher Costs

National Australia Bank on Thursday posted a 36.6% fall in annual profit, hurt by higher loan loss provisions for the COVID-19 pandemic, customer and payroll remediation, and higher wages, Reuters reported. Australia’s third largest lender also warned costs would keep rising in the next few years, and asset quality would deteriorate in the pandemic-stressed economy. NAB reported full-year cash earnings of A$3.71 billion ($2.66 billion), compared with a restated figure of A$5.85 billion last year. Analysts polled by Reuters on average expected cash earnings of A$3.82 billion. Lenders worldwide have been severely hit as record low interest rates aimed at boosting economic growth have hurt margins. Loan repayment holidays and increased defaults have added to troubles. Read more