Bank of Melbourne (1989)

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Bank of Melbourne
Subsidiary of Westpac
Industry Finance and Insurance
Fate acquired by WBC
Founded 1989 (1989)
Headquarters Melbourne, Australia
Area served
Victoria, Australia
Products Personal Banking, Business Banking and Insurance
Slogan Cuts The Cost of Banking

The Bank of Melbourne is a financial institution based in Melbourne, Australia, established in 1989 and taken over by the Westpac Banking Corporation (Westpac) in 1997. In 2004, Westpac rebranded the Bank of Melbourne branches as Westpac branches. In 2011, Westpac resurrected the brand after rebranding its purchase of Bank of St George in Melbourne specifically and possibly in response to its initial closing of the brand.


The Bank of Melbourne was established in July 1989, following the granting of a banking license to the RESI Statewide Building Society, with a listing on the Australian Stock Exchange following on 13 July 1989. The first chairman of the bank was Christopher Stewart, who chose Australian actor Jack Thompson to head the bank's TV advertising campaign, which ran for a decade.[1]

The bank focused operations on retail banking, with a branch network and operations focused on the state of Victoria. As a former building society, the bank was also heavily involved in lending in the residential property market.[2] In 1996 the bank acquired the Victorian business of Challenge Bank from Westpac for A$659.7 million, making the Bank of Melbourne the fourth largest regional bank, and the eighth largest of all listed banks in Australia.[2] By this time the Bank of Melbourne also held 9.6% of the Victorian lending market, 11.6% of the Victorian deposit market, and operated a network of 125 branches, predominantly in Melbourne.[2]

On 3 April 1997, Westpac made a $1.43 billion bid to acquire the Bank of Melbourne. At the time, Westpac had a branch network almost twice as large in Victoria as the Bank of Melbourne (212 branches), but a smaller share of the local lending and deposit markets (8.6% and 9.1% respectively).[2]

The proposal required the approval of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and the Treasurer of Australia; these being given by July 1997. On 29 September 1997 a vote was held for ordinary Bank of Melbourne shareholders to approve the proposal, with holders of over 96% of the shares approving the takeover.[2] Westpac retained the rights to the Bank of Melbourne name and logos, and operated in Victoria under the Bank of Melbourne brand until January 2004, when Westpac moved all operations to a single national brand name.[1]

In 2009, speculation suggested Westpac was to relaunch the brand for a new internet-based deposit business,[3] but with no resulting action.

In July 2011, the relaunched Bank of Melbourne commenced operations as a subsidiary of Westpac.


  1. ^ a b Mark Russell (30 January 2004). "Bank of Melbourne to lose its identity". The Age. Retrieved 24 March 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Julian Buckley and Rayna Brown (2001). "An Analysis of the takeover of the Bank of Melbourne by Westpac Banking Corporation". Accounting Research Journal. 14 (2): 204–214. 
  3. ^ George Lekakis (31 December 2009). "Westpac back to Bank of Melbourne with online arm". Herald Sun. Retrieved 24 March 2011. 

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