National Australia Bank Ltd on Wednesday reported
full-year net profit down 22 per cent to 4 billion Australian dollars
(4.1 billion US dollars) despite lifting revenue nearly 4 per cent.
Chief executive Cameron Clyne attributed the bank's first profit reversal since the start of the global financial crisis (GFC) in 2008 to its loss-making British brands, Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank.
"The UK is experiencing a very slow recovery," Clyne told reporters. "In fact, the recovery now from the depths of the GFC is slower than the great depression recovery, so it's very subdued."
The British operations, which lost 213 million Australian dollars over the reporting period, ate up more cash through charges, provisions and losses through hedging.
National, the nation's biggest business lender and its fourth-largest retail bank, was less optimistic than the government on the outlook for the domestic economy.
Clyne tipped growth of 2.5 per cent in the year to July, below the official 3-per-cent figure.
The results saw the bank's shares fall 9 Australian cents to 25.79 Australian dollars.
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