Bendigo defies June deposit slide

George Lekakis Authorised deposit-taking institutions

Bendigo Bank defied heavy outflow across the retail deposit market in June after it reeled in almost half a billion dollars of new deposits from Australian households.

The bank grew its retail deposit base by A$497 million or 1.8 per cent to $27.7 billion even though overall deposit flow in the Australian banking system contracted by 0.3 per cent.

According to the latest edition of APRA’s banking statistics, there was $938.2 billion of household cash held at banks on June 30 – down almost $3 billion compared to the end of May.

While Bendigo was the standout performer for the month, the result marks a turnaround for the bank because it has struggled most of this year to match the consistent deposit growth of other challenger brands such as Macquarie, ME, HSBC and ING.

Bendigo’s breakout performance in June might be an indication that the bank is starting to harvest significant customer growth from its UP Banking joint venture.

Managing director Marnie Baker is expected to update the market next week on progress of the digital banking platform that Bendigo launched in July last year in partnership with Melbourne fintech, Ferocia Pty Ltd.

The big losers in June were the major banks, with CBA posting the biggest net outflow of household deposits.

CBA’s retail base fell $1.5 billion to $263.7 billion, while Westpac shed $784 million to $215.4 million.

NAB and ANZ also lost market share after shedding $565 million and $394 million, respectively.

June is usually a rough month in the retail deposits market and most ADIs suffered net outflow of personal deposits for the period.

A raft of the country’s fastest growing banks including ING and Macquarie suffered contraction.

Only a small number of institutions managed to expand.

HSBC Australia, which has enjoyed stellar growth in retail banking over the last 18 months, continued its run by adding $63 million to its retail base.

Bank of China and AMP Bank also defied the negative trend after each recording moderate growth.

The standout performers in the customer-owned sector were Qudos Bank (up $67 million to $3.17 billion) and  Victorian Teachers Limited (up $33 million to $2.1 billion).

The Reserve Bank’s decision in June to ease monetary policy for the first time in three years might have been a factor driving the outflow.

However, Canstar’s Steve Mickenbecker said he wanted to see another month of APRA data before concluding that the recent official rate cuts had prompted depositors to divert their savings to riskier investments.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what is now happening,” he said.

“Baseline deposit rates are very low and this might have more people considering a dividend imputation strategy for retirement income.”