Kalpana Kalpana (Editor)

Bank of New South Wales

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Covid-19
Industry  Financial services
Area served  New South Wales
Successor  Westpac
Headquarters  Martin Place
Founded  1817
Defunct  1982
Bank of New South Wales freepagesgenealogyrootswebancestrycomcarrick
Successors  Westpac Banking Corporation

The Bank of New South Wales (BNSW), also known commonly as The Wales, was the first bank in Australia, being established in Sydney in 1817 and situated on Broadway. During the 19th and early 20th century, the Bank opened branches first throughout Australia and Oceania. It merged with many other financial institutions, finally merging with the Commercial Bank of Australia in 1982 to form the Westpac Banking Corporation.

Contents

History

Established in Sydney in 1817, the Bank of New South Wales (BNSW) was the first bank in Australia, under the economic regime of Governor Lachlan Macquarie (responsible for transitioning the penal settlement of Sydney into a capitalist economy). At the time, the colony of Sydney had not been supplied with currency, instead barter and promissory notes was the payment method of choice. Governor Macquarie himself used cattle and rum as payment for the construction of Sydney Hospital and the road from Sydney to Liverpool. The suggestion of establishing a bank was raised in March 1810; but it wasn't until November 1816 that a meeting was held to discuss the real possibility of such a proposal. In February 1817 seven directors of the bank were elected: D'Arcy Wentworth, John Harris, Robert Jenkins, Thomas Wylde, Alexander Riley, William Redfern and John Thomas Campbell. Campbell was elected the bank's first president and Edward Smith Hall as its first cashier and secretary. During the 19th and early 20th century, the Bank opened branches first throughout Australia and Oceania. This included at Moreton Bay (Brisbane) in 1850, then in Victoria (1851), New Zealand (1861), South Australia (1877), Western Australia (1883), Fiji (1901), Papua New Guinea (1910) and Tasmania (1910).

  • 1927: BNSW acquired the Western Australian Bank, which had been established in 1841 or 1842.
  • 1931: BNSW acquired the Australian Bank of Commerce, which had branches in both New South Wales and Queensland.
  • 1942: BNSW suspended operations in Papua New Guinea as the Japanese Army captured many of the towns in which it had branches and agencies, and bombed Port Moresby. It resumed operations in 1946.
  • 1957: BNSW buys 40% of finance company Australian Guarantee Corporation and over the years progressively increased its interest to a majority stake of 76% and then acquired all remaining shares in 1988.
  • 1968: BNSW joins Databank Systems Limited consortium in New Zealand to provide joint data processing services. Around this time the bank started going 'on line' with the use of their computer nicknamed 'Fabicus' the letters standing for First Australian Banking Institution Computer Used in Sydney. Fabicus had been in use since 1958 in the processing of some records. With advanced programming, The use of this computer changed the whole concept of banking as it had been done in years previously with its combination of hand-written and machined records. Branches slowly became attached to the data processing centre and other banks slowly joined the ranks of computer generated reports, records and expansion.
  • 1970: BNSW established a branch on Tarawa in Kiribati (ex-Gilbert Islands), which also took over the government savings bank. Also, the company first became listed on 18 July 1970.
  • 1971: It established a branch in the New Hebrides.
  • 1973: BNSW became the corporate sponsor of the Rescue Helicopter service started by Surf Life Saving Australia. The service is known today as the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service
  • 1974: it participated in a joint venture to establish the established Bank of Tonga.
  • 1975: BNSW incorporated its local business in Papua New Guinea as Bank of New South Wales(PNG).
  • 1977: BNSW formed Pacific Commercial Bank in Samoa as a joint venture with Bank of Hawaii, buying into Pacific Savings and Loan Company (est. 1969), in which Bank of Hawaii had had an ownership interest since 1971.
  • 1982: BNSW merged with the Commercial Bank of Australia to form Westpac Banking Corporation ending the use of the Bank of New South Wales name. The new Westpac brand-name incorporated the "W" which had been the logo of the Bank of New South Wales (popularly known as "the Wales").
  • Coat of arms

    In 1931 the bank was granted a coat of arms from the College of Arms, and symbolised the bank's 1927 acquisition of the Western Australian Bank. The arms featured an Emu and a Black swan (which is symbolic of Western Australia) rampant supporting a shield surmounted by a kangaroo and the emblem of the rising sun. On the shield are shown a ship, two sheaves of wheat, a sheep, a cow, and a crossed pick and spade, representing the principal industries of Australia at the time: pastoral, agricultural, mining and shipping. The motto included was "Sic fortis Etruria crevit", variously translated as "Thus strong Etruria prospered", a line taken from Virgil's Second Georgic and an early motto of the Colony of New South Wales.

    These arms replaced the original arms known as the "Advance Australia Arms" which was similar to the first Coat of arms of Australia used until 1910, using the same kangaroo and emu supporters and the motto "Advance Australia". The shield in these arms was retained in the 1931 arms.

    Heritage-listed buildings

    The Bank of New South Wales built many bank buildings in Australia, some of which survive and some are heritage-listed. However, very few are still used as banks. Surviving buildings with state or national heritage listing include:

    New South Wales

  • 341 George Street, former Sydney Head Office
  • 107-109 Bathurst Street, Sydney
  • Queensland

  • Bank of New South Wales building, Brisbane
  • Bank of New South Wales building, Charters Towers
  • Bank of New South Wales building, Gympie
  • Bank of New South Wales building, Helidon
  • Bank of New South Wales building, Maryborough
  • Bank of New South Wales building, Normanton (currently operates as a branch of Westpac Bank)
  • Bank of New South Wales building, Townsville
  • Bank of New South Wales building, Yungaburra
  • Victoria

  • Melbourne Head Office (building demolished with the fa├žade preserved and relocated within the University of Melbourne, Parkville campus)
  • References

    Bank of New South Wales Wikipedia


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    Bank of New South Wales building, Brisbane
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