Westpac records strong profits despite high home loan rates

Westpac has announced high profit figures for the end of last year, proving that it is still a popular choice among Australians.

The group announced unaudited cash earnings of $1.6 billion during the last three months of 2009 – a 33 per cent improvement on the corresponding period in 2008, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Danny John, a financial commentator for the newspaper, said that Australia’s major banks were in a much better position than most of their global counterparts who had been particularly hard hit by the recession.

He suggested that customers had chosen to opt for established banks during the downturn, meaning that Westpac had been able to grow its customer base despite raising its home loan rate higher than the official Reserve Bank rate at the end of last year.

This week, AMP, a second-tier lender, announced that it will cut its mortgage rates this year. The move offers another option to Australians who choose to compare home loans.

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