Westpac Banking Corp, one of the big four banks in Australia, on Monday announced that its cash earnings for the 12 months to the end of September increased 5 percent to 6,598 million AU dollars (6,832 million U.S. dollars) year on year. The bank\'s full-year statutory net profit fell 15 percent to 5. 97 billion AU dollars (6.18 billion U.S. dollars) as a result of a one-off tax benefit last year. Westpac Chief Executive Officer Gail Kelly said it was a strong result in a lower growth economic environment. Kelly said a highlight of the result was the strong performance of its new Australian financial services division, which includes the Australian retail banking, business banking and wealth operations. \"Strengthening our balance sheet and improving our funding profile has been a key area of focus in recent years,\" she said in a statement. \"At our half-year results, I stressed that a priority was growing deposits, so I am pleased that our total customer deposits grew 12 percent or 38 billion AU dollars this year, more than funding our growth in loans.\" Westpac announced a final dividend of 84 AU cents fully-franked, up from 82 AU cents in the first half.