By Robert Carry

Bank of Queensland's (BOQ) chief executive has hailed the firm's 21% increase in annual profit saying the bank is emerging from the financial crisis "in relatively good shape".

David Liddy revealed that he expected the increase in bad debts to reach its peak by the mid-2010. He continued, "All the indications are we're through the worst of it. We shouldn't be claiming victory yet, but I think the signs are positive."

According to reports in The Brisbane Times, BOQ reported a cash profit of $187.4 million for the year to the end of August, helped by cost-cutting and an increase in lending income.