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National Bank of New Zealand

The National Bank of New Zealand Limited (NBNZ), often referred to as The National Bank, was one of New Zealand's largest banks. Throughout much of its history, the National Bank provided commercial banking services to mainly major industrial and rural as well as some personal customers.

National Bank of New Zealand
  • 1872 ind. listed company
  • 1966 purchased by Lloyds
  • 2003 purchased by ANZ
IndustryCommercial bank
SuccessorANZ Bank New Zealand
Defunct28 October 2012
HeadquartersWellington, New Zealand

UK based Lloyds Bank became the sole owner of the bank in 1966 and National Bank adopted the Lloyds Bank black horse as its logo. Lloyds TSB, as it then was, sold the bank to Australian ANZ Bank in 2003, at which time it became part of ANZ National Bank Limited, the New Zealand subsidiary of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group but for customers retained a separate corporate identity until rebranding as ANZ began in September 2012. ANZ announced they would adopt National's technology system and the majority of its products.

There is no longer a corporate identity named National Bank of New Zealand. Its business has been subsumed within ANZ Bank.


Sydney sandstone branch office 193 Princes Street, Dunedin 1912
National Bank Tower
205 Queen Street Auckland
National Bank Tower at street level, 205 Queen Street Auckland Nov. 2010

The National Bank of New Zealand was founded in 1872 in London as a New Zealand bank and shared many directors with Lloyds Bank. From the first New Zealand operations were managed from Dunedin. Adam Burnes was inspector and general manager.[1] The first branch opened in March 1873 in Wellington, with Alexander Kerr as the first manager.[2] Branches were also opened in 1873 in Auckland, Hamilton[3] and Christchurch, and it acquired 13 branches from ailing Bank of Otago (1863–73), see William Larnach. The National Bank of New Zealand (Ltd) Act gave it the right to issue banknotes redeemable (in specie or gold). Though the bank was technically domiciled in London (which provided certain advantages) the major portion of its shareholders were New Zealand resident or associated. In 1894 its headquarters were moved from Dunedin to Wellington.[4]

Lloyds Bank acquired a small interest in The National Bank in 1919. There was a steady substantial drain of New Zealand shareholdings to the National Bank of New Zealand overseas share register throughout the 1950s and early 1960s[note 1] This situation continued until 1966, when Lloyds Bank purchased The National Bank outright. In 1967 National Bank and the Bank of New Zealand established joint data processing services operated by Databank Systems Limited. The other trading banks joined the now proven computer system and ownership of Databank the following year.

The bank tentatively dipped a toe into foreign waters in 1969 when it established a branch in Rarotonga, Cook Islands. This foray ended in 1986 when it sold its banking license in Rarotonga to European Pacific Banking Co.

The head office was moved from London to Wellington in 1978 and the Black Horse became its emblem. The Black Horse logo dates back to 1677 London when Humphrey Stockes adopted it as the sign for his shop. Stokes was a goldsmith and 'keeper of the running cashes', a banker. When Lloyds Bank took over his site in 1884 it kept the horse as its symbol.

Victoria St, Hamilton, between Hood and Collingwood Streets about 1880. The National Bank of New Zealand is the building beyond the tree.

The National Bank acquired Southpac Investment Management Limited in 1983. Five years later it bought The Rural Bank Limited, the former New Zealand Government owned bank, from Fletcher Challenge. It continued consolidating banking in NZ by purchasing Countrywide Banking Corporation from Bank of Scotland in 1998.

In 2003 ANZ bought The National Bank from Lloyds TSB. ANZ also bought the right to continue to use the Black Horse logo for seven years.[5]

In 2005, Chief Executive Sir John Anderson retired. He had been Chief Executive of The National Bank since its acquisition of the Rural Bank and was head of the ANZ-National Bank's New Zealand operations. Graham Hodges became the new Chief Executive Officer.

In September 2012, ANZ National Bank CEO David Hisco announced that it would drop The National Bank brand in favour of the ANZ brand over the next two years.[6]

Advertising and sponsorshipEdit

The National Bank was the sponsor of New Zealand Cricket and sponsors all the home tournaments of the country and the Black Caps, the national men's cricket team. ANZ, as its successor, has continued this since 2012. The National Bank sponsored the National Bank of New Zealand Netball Cup. Their television advertisements used the music of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons.

A National Bank Cashpoint

Note re loss of domestic controlEdit

  1. ^ New Zealand residents wishing to buy a new car could obtain immediate delivery under the No-remitttance licence scheme if able to pay for the new car with hard to find "overseas funds". The alert bought The National Bank shares with local currency and immediately sold them outside the country for overseas currency. Transferred to The National Bank overseas register they were acquired directly or indirectly by Lloyds Bank and avoided Overseas Investment regulations


  1. ^ Australian Summary, Wellington Independent 30 October 1872 Page 2
  2. ^ "The National Bank of New Zealand". Evening Post (Wellington). IX (33). 21 March 1873. p. 3.
  3. ^ "Page 3 Advertisements Column 3". Waikato Times. 11 September 1873. p. 3. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  4. ^ Otago Daily Times, Issue 10444, 21 August 1895
  5. ^ Bayer, Kurt National Banks to be rebranded ANZ The New Zealand Herald, 26 September 2012
  6. ^ "Banks fight for unhappy National Bank customers". 27 September 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2012.

External linksEdit