NAB lifts Q3 cash earnings

Lender says modest lift in quarterly revenue because of good growth in mortgages, cost management drive working well.

National Australia Bank (NAB) has posted a slight lift in third-quarter profit on strong momentum in personal banking arm, but has warned weak confidence continues to challenge business banking.

In a third-quarter trading update, NAB said its unaudited cash earnings rose to $1.5 billion, around 2% higher than the quarterly average of the lender's half-year result released in March.

The lender said revenue lifted around 1% reflecting good growth in mortgages and some improvement in customer margin.

"NAB has produced a solid third quarter result reflecting strong momentum in personal banking and lower loan losses in our UK businesses," chief executive officer Cameron Clyne said.

Mr Clyne said while operating conditions for business banking remained challenging, with ongoing weak confidence and subdued volumes, NAB remains strongly committed to supporting business customers. 

"Costs were tightly managed during the period, he said.

"In Australia, excluding upfront implementation costs relating to the changes to the Group’s organisational structure and operating model, operating expenses were flat."

NAB is currently the best-rated of the big banks according to consensus analyst ratings polled on Bloomberg (see Ian Verrender's Why NAB and ANZ are most loved). 

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