TSB Bank passes $5 billion deposit milestone

TSB Bank bigwigs Kevin Murphy and Elaine Gill say the bank's deposits increased from about $200 million in 1986 to $5 billion in 2014.
TSB Bank bigwigs Kevin Murphy and Elaine Gill say the bank's deposits increased from about $200 million in 1986 to $5 billion in 2014.

TSB Bank's annual report yesterday announced a small dip in profit.

But the biggest loss for the Kiwi-owned bank was long-term board member Elaine Gill, who after 28 years has announced her retirement.

The 67-year-old joined the bank's board of directors in 1986, and became chairwoman 16 years ago.

"It's the end of an era, really," she said.

Nowadays banks tended to refresh their boards at more regular intervals, Gill said, and it was unlikely TSB Bank would have another member stand as long as she had.

"I do feel quite sad to be leaving, it's been an important part of my life for a considerable amount of time."

Bank chief executive Kevin Murphy said losing Gill would be like losing his right arm.

"She's taken us through a number of milestones, we've got a lot to thank her for."

One of the milestones, announced yesterday, was the bank's deposits passing the $5 billion mark.

Not long after the Newcastle, UK native Gill began at what was then called the Taranaki Savings Bank, the 1987 annual report announced deposits were at about $200 million.

She said people would think it was "daft", but she looked forward to having more time to focus on hobbies such as knitting, gardening, crochet and her greatest passion - her grandkids.

Yesterday, TSB Bank reported an after-tax profit of $50 million for the financial year ending March 31 - a 6 per cent dip on last year's profit of $53.1m.

A dividend of $10.2m would be be delivered to the people of Taranaki through the TSB Community Trust, leaving the bank with a retained profit of $39.8m.

The drop in profit indicated TSB Bank was not immune to the effects of the Government's Solid Energy bailout and it swapped $13.8m debit for the same value of redeemable preference shares in the struggling state-owned enterprise.

"The bank continues to receive interest on the remaining bonds held in the entity and is optimistic about the future of the company as it continues to successfully restructure its business," chief executive Kevin Murphy.

The bank's deposits increased 4.4 per cent on 2013 to $5.2b.

Total lending increased 7.7 per cent to $3.1b compared with the previous 12 months' figure of $2.9b.

Given the competitive lending environment, both Murphy and Gill attributed this to the diversification of the bank's portfolio, including a 56 per cent rise in agribusiness.

"There's a lot of competition in the lending market and we're delighted with the result," Murphy said.

The bank had done so without compromising its risk profile, he said, and 90-day past due and impaired loans made up 0.36 per cent of the lending portfolio.

TSB Bank's capital adequacy ratio was 14 per cent, above the Reserve Bank's minimum of 10.5 per cent.

Subject to the approval of the Reserve Bank, deputy chairman Bruce Richards will replace Gill at the helm of the board of directors.

Richards, a chartered accountant, has been on the bank's board since 1988.

Taranaki Daily News