Founded in 1817 as the Bank of New South Wales, it acquired the Commercial Bank of Australia in 1982 and was renamed shortly thereafter. Westpac Banking Corporation, known as Westpac, is an Australian bank and financial services provider headquartered in Sydney, Australia. It is one of Australia’s “Big Four” banks and is Australia’s first and oldest banking institution. . Its name is a portmanteau of “Western” and “Pacific”.
It is headquartered at Westpac Place, Westpac in Sydney.
Established in Sydney in 1817, the Bank of New South Wales (BNSW) was the first bank in Australia. Edward Smith Hall was its first cashier and secretary. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, BNSW first opened branches throughout Australia and Oceania: in Moreton Bay (Brisbane) in 1850; in Victoria in 1851; in New Zealand in 1861; in South Australia in 1877; in 1883 in Western Australia; in Fiji in 1901; in Papua New Guinea in 1910; and in Tasmania in 1910. 1927: BNSW acquires Western Australian Bank.
1931: BNSW acquires Australian Bank of Commerce
1968: BNSW joins the Databank Systems Limited consortium to provide joint data processing services.
1970: BNSW is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange on 18 July 1970.
1973: BNSW Surf becomes the corporate sponsor of the rescue helicopter service launched by Life Saving Australia. This service is known today as Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service.
1974: Bank of New Zealand (20%), BNSW (20%), Bank of Hawaii (20%), and the Government of Tonga (40%) establish Bank of Tonga as a joint venture.
1975: BNSW incorporated its local business in Papua New Guinea as the Bank of New South Wales (PNG).
1977: BNSW forms Pacific Commercial Bank in Samoa as a joint venture with Bank of Hawaii, buying into Pacific Savings and Loan Company, in which Bank of Hawaii had an ownership interest since 1971.
Westpac is made
1982: BNSW merges with Commercial Bank of Australia and is renamed Westpac Banking Corporation, whose mission was to become an important Western Pacific bank from which Westpac is derived. The brandname included the “W” which was the logo of the Bank of New South Wales (popularly known as “Wales”).
1984: The original agreement between BNSW and the government in the Gilbert and Ellis Islands ended and the WBC and the government of Kiribati formed the Bank of Kiribati as a 51–49% joint venture. The Bank of Kiribati also performed the functions of a reserve or central bank.
1985: WBC replaced Barclays Bank in Tuvalu (ex-Ellis Islands) with the National Bank of Tuvalu (est. 1981), with a 40% share as well as a 10-year management contract.
1988: The firm acquired European Pacific Banking Corporation in the Cook Islands and an HSBC subsidiary, Solomon Islands Banking Corporation, which HSBC had established as a branch in 1973. WBC also acquired HSBC’s operations in Fiji and the New Hebrides and established one. Branch in Niue which is the only bank in that country.