May 19, 2020

Big four banks’ combined profit up 6.4% despite tough market conditions – KPMG

ANZ bank
Commonwealth Bank
Westpac
nab
Addie Thomes
2 min
Big four banks’ combined profit up 6.4% despite tough market conditions – KPMG

ANZ, NAB, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac registered profits of $31.5bn between them for the 2017 full year, an increase of 6.4% on 2016.

KPMG has released its Major Australian Banks Full Year Analysis Report 2016-17, which reveals how this profit gain was achieved against a backdrop of a challenging margin environment, rising capital levels and ongoing regulatory, legal and compliance costs.

Ian Pollari, KPMG Australia’s Head of Banking, explained: “Stagnant wage growth and high levels of underemployment are keeping a lid on economic growth and in turn, demand for credit, with growth moderating to mid-single digits.

“Consequently, the majors will focus their efforts on cost management, simplification and investing in digital capabilities, whilst ensuring debt serviceability and disciplined pricing is maintained, to preserve future earnings.”

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The four banks recorded net interest income growth, increasing by 1.7% to $61.3bn in the year, while non-interest income also increased, by 3.8% to $24.6bn, mainly due to improved market conditions and one-off asset disposals.

Pollari advised banks to be targeted with their investment in new technologies and balance short-term cost pressures with longer term gains to be had from these projects.

He added: “Ultimately, this focus on cost management will provide greater capacity for the majors to invest in enhancing the customer experience, which will form a critical part of their response to growing competition from fintech firms, as well as the looming threat posed by the technology giants.

“In the medium to long term, there are substantial opportunities for the banking industry to make its customer engagement and operating models more efficient through the application of enhanced process automation, machine learning and cognitive computing. The key will be augmenting this capability with a human element.”

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Jun 8, 2021

Timeline: India takes unicorn leap with six in five days

India
Unicorns
Startups
tech
Kate Birch
2 min
We chart an historic week in India’s startup tech industry, where from April 5-9 the country achieved six unicorns

We chart an historic week in India’s tech industry, where in just five days, between 5-9 April 2021, the country achieved six new unicorns, bringing India’s total to 10 in 2021 to date, an immense unicorn leap from just seven in 2020 and six in 2019.

April 5: Meesho

India’s first social commerce unicorn, Meesho raised US$300m from SoftBank, Facebook and Shunwei Capital, giving the Bangalore-based startup a US$2.1bn valuation, a threefold jump from its previous funding round in 2019. Founded in 2015 by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Meesho connects producers and resellers, helping small businesses sell through social media. It has 45m customers and has enabled 13m entrepreneurs to start their online businesses with no investment.

April 6: CRED

Founded just over two years ago, Bangalore-based credit card repayment app CRED raised US$215m from Falcon Edge Capital and Coatue, nearly trebling its valuation to US$2.2bn from its January US$80m round. Allowing customers to pay off their credit card debt while earning CRED coins which they cash in for rewards, CRED has grown rapidly during COVID-19, doubling its customer base to nearly 6 million in a year.

April 7: API Holdings / Groww

The first epharmacy startup to gain unicorn status, PharmEasy (API Holdings), which has digitised 60,000 brick and mortar pharmacies and 400 doctors across India, raised US$350m in a round led by Prosus Ventures. Founded by four former Flipkart employees as a way of making investing simple, investment platform Groww became India’s second-youngest fintech unicorn, raising US$83m in Series D funding led by Tiger Global, quadrupling its previous round in September.

April 8: ShareChat

New Delhi-grown social media startup ShareChat, founded in 2016 by Mohalla Tech raised US$502m from Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Twitter and Snap taking its raised total over six rounds to US$766m and pushing its valuation to US$2.1bn. The funding will be used to grow its user base and short video platform Moj, which launched in 2020 following TikTok’s ban in India. The regional language startup claims 280m users.

April 9: Gupshup

AI-led conversational message startup joined the unicorn club after raising US$100m from Tiger Global giving it a ten-fold valuation of US$1.4bn. The smart messaging platform, which has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic, was founded in Bangalore in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Beerud Sheth, whose online freelancing platform Elance is now listed. Gupshup’s API enables 100,000+ businesses to build messaging and conversation experiences across 30+ communication channels. 

 

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