May 6 (Reuters) - Australia’s No. 2 lender, Westpac Banking Corp, posted a 22 percent fall in first-half cash earnings on Monday, hit by a surge in customer refunds following a landmark inquiry.
The company’s cash earnings fell to A$3.30 billion ($2.30 billion) for the six months ended March 31, compared with A$4.25 billion a year earlier. That was lower than an average estimate of A$3.52 billion from six analysts polled by Reuters.
Sydney-based Westpac maintained its interim dividend at A$0.94 Australian cent a share. ($1 = 1.4325 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Rushil Dutta and Aditya Soni in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Peter Cooney)