Westpac investor profits up 12% in fiscal year

ONE of Australia's biggest banks, Westpac, earned investors a stand-out 12% net profit increase, or $7.6 billion, in the past fiscal year.

On Monday the bank posted its annual results with the stock exchange.

Results showed $7.6 billion in cash earnings, off the back of a slower 8% rise on last year's cash earnings results.

Key to the results were the fastest rises in customer numbers in four years and continued growth in housing credit off the back of the Reserve Bank's low cash rate.

But the banks results, which are reliant on accommodating policies on the cash banks must keep in reserve, could soon be threatened.

The Abbott government's financial system inquiry has been investigating the potential for increasing all banks reserves to help further protect the banking system, and tighten lending practices.