SYDNEY, AAP – Australia’s fifth-largest bank Bendigo has improved full-year cash earnings by more than 51 per cent as historically low rates prove no impediment to profit.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank on Monday reported deposits and residential lending were both up by more than 14 per cent. Cash earnings after tax were $457.2 million.

Chief executive Marnie Baker said the housing and employment markets were expected to grow despite the threat of coronavirus lockdowns.

She said low rates were putting pressure on the bank’s margins. However there was strong demand for loans from consumers and business, she said.

Bendigo is buying Melbourne financial software vendor Ferocia to improve its online services.

Shareholders will receive a final dividend of 26.5 cents per share.

Shares were down 9.37 per cent to $10.06 at 1142 AEST.