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Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) is one of New Zealandmarker's largest banks. The first branch opened in Dunedinmarker on 2 December 1861. BNZ is now owned by National Australia Bank.

For a large part of New Zealand's history the banking industry was divided between Trading and Savings Banks, with the BNZ being a Trading Bank.

BNZ is a 25% shareholder in Loyalty New Zealand Limited, the operator of Fly Buys in New Zealand and provides benefits to customers through it.

BNZ is the only bank in New Zealandmarker to have its own museum. [74021]

Government bail outs

In June 1894 urgent legislation was passed to "save the bank". The Bank then took over the Colonial Bank which was also in difficulties, in 1895.

The bank fell into trouble after a drive to become a global bank failed after the worldwide stock market crash of 1987.

In 1990 the newly elected Bolger National government decided to mount a $380 million rescue bid after a previous cash injection proved insufficient, and avoid the potential ramifications of the collapse of the country's largest bank at that time.


BNZ logo until 1 October 2008.
  • 1861: New Zealand Banking Company formed as a private company by The New Zealand Bank Act 1861 creating the company and authorising it to issue banknotes. First branch in New Zealand opened in Queen Street in Aucklandmarker. Dunedin branch opens shortly afterward.
  • 1862: Wellington, Christchurch and London branches opened. Gained the banking account of the New Zealand Government from the Union Bank and became an agent to raise debt in the United Kingdom for the Government.
  • 1894: The BNZ saved by Government legislation in June
  • 1895: The BNZ takes over the Colonial Bank, which was in crisis
  • 1940: £1 million interest free loan as a war contribution to the Government. The 74 women in the company rise to more than 700 by 1945
  • 1943: Mobile branch opened in a caravan for American servicemen, Night banking introduced in Auckland and Wellington.
  • 1944: Personal loans department opened. Government announces intention to nationalise the bank.
  • 1945: Nash Government introduces the Bank of New Zealand Bill. Once passed the Government paid £7,933,000 in cash, transferable stock, and tax-free stock to the Bank's 8,500 shareholders for their shares. The average holding was 495 shares
  • 1966: First computer purchased an IBM 360/30 with a 16k memory; Databank Systems Ltd setup in 1967 with the National Bank of New Zealand; the other three trading banks join in 1968.
  • 1978: Visa debit card introduced.
  • 1980: Visa credit cards introduced.
  • 1984: BNZ Centremarker completed on Willis Street, Wellington
  • 1985: Eftpos introduced through petrol stations in a pilot program.
  • 1987: Bank floated on sharemarket with a 15% stock offering.
  • 1989: Government reduces its share to 51% by selling 34%; with 30% sold to Capital Markets Ltd, and the remainder to the general public
  • 1990: Government bail out of $380 million to avoid collapse
  • 1992: BNZ purchased by National Australia Bank Group, First call centre opened in Auckland
  • 1998: Head office moves to Auckland.
  • 1999: BNZ launched Internet Banking.
  • 1999: BNZ Private Bank launched.
  • 2000: 192 branches, 5562 staff.
  • 2008: 1 October: The bank rebrands itself as 'BNZ' with a change in logo and colours. The first such change in 20 years.


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