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Westpac posts 25% profit decline

Westpac experienced a significant drop in its first half net profit levels this year, new figures have revealed.

Data published today (3 May) by the Australian bank showed its profits in the six months leading up to 31 March 2012 declined by 25 per cent to a total of $2.97 billion due to several contributory factors.

During this period, the lender set up the Bank of Melbourne and saw its level of bad debt increase, meaning its incomes fell by around $1 billion in comparison to the corresponding time last year.

The bank indicated that while there has been some signs of stability returning to the global financial system recently, the recovery remains fragile.

"Funding costs are expected to remain elevated, with competition intense, particularly for retail deposits ... lending growth is likely to remain modest," it noted.

Recently, the National Australia Bank announced it is to implement 1,400 job cuts in the UK by 2015.

By Asim Shah