SBS Bank is pleased to record a stable $17.7 million operating surplus for the 2012 financial year.
SBS Bank Chief Executive Ross Smith said the increase in operating surplus, growth in total assets, strengthening of members' equity and the opening of an HBS Bank branch in Havelock North had been highlights of the past year.
"Our growth over the past 12 months has been a modest $28 million, on the back of a slow housing market and aggressive competitor activity.
"Our priority, as always, is to look after both new and existing customers and to offer the same competitive rates and superior service to all, unlike the strategy the larger banks seem to have adopted whereby new customers get discounted rates and incentives at the expense of existing customers."
Mr Smith noted that although the Global Financial Crisis had left many of the world's markets in turmoil, SBS Bank's prudent and conservative management approach had shielded it from severe impacts on profitability.
"Because we are a customer-owned bank it is important for us to ensure we manage our exposure to risk in the market and protect our customers' investments.
"SBS Bank has taken the opportunity to improve both our capital ratio and our liquidity so that we are now among the leading banks in New Zealand in these categories.
"Total liquidity is now $594 million and members' equity stands at a pleasing $208 million."
In addition to these results, Mr Smith announced the retirement of Chairman Acton Smith, who had had been instrumental in shaping the course of SBS Bank over the past 21 years.
"Acton was a key player in defeating the sale of SBS to Westpac in 1991. He pushed for bank registration as a mutual in 2008 and was an inspirational leader throughout the merger process with Hastings Building Society.
"There is no doubt Acton Smith will be remembered fondly as one of the most important directors in SBS Bank history," Mr Smith said.
Mr Smith's involvement with SBS Bank spans 21 years whilst holding the position of Chairman for the past 18 years.
SBS Bank will hold its Annual General Meeting on the 6th floor of the Kelvin Hotel, Invercargill, on Wednesday 18th July, at 2:30pm.
Compare Credit Cards - Independent interest rate and fees comparisons for New Zealand banks.