It was huge week for ASX 200 bank shares. Here's why

Investors in the big four banks take a look at the books…

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It was a huge week for investors in S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) bank shares.

Three of the big four banks reported quarterly or half-year results over the week. And one traded ex-dividend.

Here's what happened.

Three ASX 200 bank shares reporting results

Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) released its half-year earnings results on Monday.

For the six months through 31 March, the ASX 200 bank share reported a 4% year-on-year decline in net operating income to $10.59 billion. And ongoing competition saw net interest margins (NIMs) come down 0.07% to 1.89%.

With operating expenses up 8%, Westpac's net profit before one-offs was down 8% to $3.51 billion.

But management pleased passive income investors by declaring a fully franked dividend of 90 cents per share.

Westpac also announced an additional $1 billion on-market share buyback. Westpac shares closed up 2.7% on Monday.

On Tuesday, it was Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ) that reported half-year results.

As with Westpac, ANZ's NIM declined, though by a lesser 0.02%.

The ASX 200 bank share's statutory profit after tax declined by 4% from the prior half to $3.41 billion, with cash profits dipping 1% to 3.55 billion.

Management declared an interim dividend of 83 cents per share, franked at 65%. That's up from last year's interim dividend of 81 cents per share.

And not to be outdone by Westpac, ANZ also announced a $2 billion on-market share buyback.

ANZ shares closed up 0.1% on the day.

Two days later, on Thursday, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) reported its third-quarter update.

Compared to the prior corresponding quarter, the ASX 200 bank share saw operating income slip by 1%, while operating expenses increased by 2%.

As you'd expect, that led to lower profits for the three months, with unaudited statutory net profit after tax declining 5% year on year to $2.4 billion.

CBA remains well-capitalised with a Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) ratio of 11.9%. That's a significant safety margin over the minimum 10.25% ratio required by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

And one trading ex-dividend

National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) reported its half-year results on 2 May, a week earlier.

As with the other ASX 200 bank shares, NAB's net operating income slipped year on year, down 0.9% to $10.14 billion. The big four bank's cash earnings declined by 12.8% to $3.55 billion.

That didn't hold management back from declaring a fully franked dividend of 84 cents per share, up from 83 cents per share last year.

NAB shares traded ex-dividend on Tuesday.

As investors buying the ASX 200 bank share on Tuesday were no longer eligible for the upcoming dividend payment, the NAB share price closed the day down 1.5%.

Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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