National Australia Bank discovers cost of winning more friends

NATIONAL Australia Bank (NAB) $25.86. The National Australia Bank yesterday rounded out the big four's interim reporting quadrella, which (just quietly) saw collective cash earnings soar 24 per cent to pre-GFC levels of $10 billion.
But it wasn't all about fleecing super-profits from captive clients. In its quest to be nicer to customers by lopping unfair fees, NAB snared a 32 per cent rise in transaction customers but curbed earnings growth in the process.
NAB also claims a 20 per cent rise in new mortgage flows but, as with Westpac, growth has come at the expense of interest margins and there's no respite in sight.
The NAB's non-interest income declined 19 per cent (or by 3.7 per cent compared with the September half). In essence the bank has sacrificed revenue (and margins) to win best friend forever: 79,911 customers defected to the bank in the period, compared with 13,066 previously.
CFO Mark Joyner estimates the fee measures cut $103 million from non-interest revenue (reduced treasury activity accounted for a meatier $170m). Read More.