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CBA adds $1.5b to COVID bill, sells stake in wealth manager

Business

The Commonwealth Bank will set aside $1.5 billion to deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The bank also announced the $1.7 billion sale of a 55 per cent stake in Colonial First State to KKR, a global investment firm with $US207 billion of assets under management.

The transaction implies a total valuation for CFS of $3.3 billion.

The CBA also reported that its unaudited statutory net profit of $1.3billion  for the quarter.

The bank said the quarter had shown flat operating income, with strong operational execution driving core volume growth, offset by the impacts of a lower cash rate.

CBA chief executive Matt Comyn said the announcement of provisioning for the potential longer-term impacts of COVID-19 “further reinforced our already strong provisioning and balance sheet settings”.

“Given the significant impact to the economy from the coronavirus, we have increased provisions for future loan losses by $1.5 billion, bringing our total provisions for future losses to $6.4 billion.

Like Suncorp, it has predicted home prices would fall by 11 per cent over three years, but if there was a “prolonged downturn” house prices could fall by more than 30 per cent.

“The bank is well funded, with significant levels of excess liquidity and strong capital.

“The strength of the bank means we are well placed to support our customers and the broader Australian economy.

“Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, our package of support measures has included over $9 billion in support to 100,000 businesses, repayment deferrals on approximately 240,000 loans, reduced interest rates for borrowers, increased interest rates for depositors and waived fees and charges.

“Our strong capital position enabled us to deliver first-half 2020 dividend payments totalling $3.5 billion to our 830,000 shareholders during March, providing a further direct cash benefit into the economy.”

 

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