Graphs and Stuff

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CBA, ANZ, NAB and Westpac provisions vs current unemployment rate

CBA reported its half-year results in February, and the other three - NAB, Westpac and ANZ - gave us an insight into their provisioning in May as part of their own half-year updates.

Below are the unemployment assumptions they used for their bases cases. Note that the level of provisions isn't based on the base cases - it's weighted towards more pessimistic outcomes.

BankBase Case UnemploymentBase Case Expected Loss ($Million)Actual Provisions ($Million)

CBA figures current as of Feb 2021, the others May 2021.

Those base cases looked a bit pessimistic at the time they were made, as you would hope to ensure stability. But now they are once again (after the previous half) looking completely outlandishly pessimistic, with today's unemployment number coming in at 5.1%. Note that all the banks' economics teams were projecting lower unemployment at the time provisions were made. They're looking much too high at the moment as well. Hopefully this run continues.