Westpac’ retail and business banking segment has reported cash earnings of A$1.35bn for the first half of fiscal 2015, a rise of 8% from A$1.25bn a year ago.

The division achieved good loan and deposit growth which, together with disciplined management of margins, contributed to a 7% increase in the bank’s core earnings.

The division’s efficiency continued to improve, with a 5% increase in revenue per FTE and a 47bps reduction in the expense to income ratio to 43.9%, the Australian lender said in its earnings statement.

The retail and business banking segment’s impairment charges declined 2% lower.

Overall, Westpac Group posted cash earnings of $3.78bnfor the first half of fiscal year 2015, in line with the prior corresponding period. Statutory net profit was $3.61bn.

Westpac CEO Brian Hartzer said: "Our operating divisions, particularly retail and business banking, have continued to perform well during the period.

"In our retail and business banking divisions we had solid loan and deposit growth, along with well managed margins.

"We are seeing the results of our Service Revolution program, with Westpac Retail & Business Banking delivering record customer growth and improved customer satisfaction. Our St.George Banking Group brands also contributed positively, with Bank of Melbourne continuing to grow market share."