Last quarter was a good time to be invested in these S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) bank shares.
Though, that wasn’t the case for many of their peers. The S&P/ASX 200 Financials Index (ASX: XFJ) underperformed over the 3 months ended 31 March. It gained just 3.67%.
In comparison, the ASX 200 rose 6.39% last quarter, with some of its banking constituents among its best performers.
So, which ASX 200 bank shares provided the greatest gains in the March quarter? Let’s take a look.
5 best performing ASX 200 bank shares of the March quarter
Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) – gained 13.54%
The Westpac share price led the pack during the March quarter, gaining nearly 14% to end the period at $24.24.
Over the December quarter, Westpac’s unaudited cash earnings rose 74%. Though, it reported a $118 million impairment charge, mainly resulting from uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd (ASX: BEN) – rose 13.08%
Westpac’s performance over the quarter just been only just beat that of the Bendigo Bank share price. It came in a close second, gaining 13% to finish March at $10.29.
The major catalyst for the bank’s gains was its results for the first half of financial year 2022.
It saw Bendigo Bank reporting an 8.5% jump in earnings and a 31.7% increase in net profit.
Its dividend was also boosted by 12.8% to 26.5 cents per share.
National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) – surged 12.17%
Taking out the bronze medal for ASX 200 bank shares last quarter is NAB. It gained 12% to finish the period at $32.35.
The big news from NAB over the March quarter was the release of its December quarter earnings and news of another $2.5 billion off-market buyback.
The bank’s revenue for the December quarter was 8% higher than that of second half of financial year 2021’s quarterly average. Its cash earnings were also up 12%.
Additionally, NAB announced the end of one $2.5 billion off-market buyback and the beginning of another.
Bank of Queensland Limited (ASX: BOQ) – up 7.29%
After underperforming the ASX 200 in 2021, this bank share climbed above the index last quarter.
That’s right, the Bank of Queensland share price gained 7% over the 3 months ended 31 March to trade at $8.68.
That’s despite no price-sensitive news having been released by the bank in that time.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) – gained 4.72%
Finally, the CBA share price came in as the fifth best performing ASX 200 bank share of the March quarter. That’s despite it underperforming the index over the period.
CBA sold part of its 10% stake in the Bank of Hangzhou for $1.8 billion last quarter.