Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) is one of New Zealand's largest banks and has been operating continuously in the country since the first office was opened in Auckland in October 1861 followed shortly after by the first branch in Dunedin in December 1861. The modern-day bank operates a variety of financial services covering retail, business and institutional banking and employs over 5000 people in New Zealand. In 1992 the bank was purchased by the National Australia Bank and is today operated as a subsidiary but retains local governance with a fully empowered New Zealand board of directors.
The original Bank of New Zealand logo used for 147 years until 1 October 2008
1861: The Bank of New Zealand formed as a private company and incorporated 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 Auckland and a Dunedin branch is opened 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.
For retail customers, Bank of New Zealand offers a range of products and services that include savings and investments, home loans, credit cards, personal loans, insurance and international and migrant banking. Customers are able to bank using telephone banking, internet banking or by visiting one of 180 branches (called ‘Stores" by BNZ) around New Zealand.
Business banking at Bank of New Zealand has been branded BNZ Partners and provides a full range of banking services for small, medium or large businesses. Services include transactional bank accounts, investments, loans and finance, card and payment, insurance and international banking services for businesses dealing with exports, imports and foreign exchange. Bank of New Zealand’s business banking division provides banking staff with specialist knowledge of various industry sectors consisting of Agribusiness, Medical, Professional, Property, Not-for-profit, Franchising and Iwi.
Bank of New Zealand’s institutional banking division provides wholesale banking services for large corporate, financial institutions and government entities. These cover a wide range of sectors, including primary industries; manufacturing and retailing; energy; utilities; telecommunications and infrastructure; property; local government; health; and education. In December 2010, BNZ was appointed as lead arranger for the newly formed Auckland Council’s $600 million syndicated bank loan facility. In June 2010, BNZ was awarded the contract to provide the Auckland Council with comprehensive transactional services and over-the counter services.
Main management and administration functions for Bank of New Zealand are located in Wellington and Auckland and the bank operates a nationwide network of 180 retail stores and business centres (branded as Partner Centres).
In July 2010 Bank of New Zealand became the first bank in New Zealand to become carbon neutral. The achievement was announced in September 2010 after a three-year initiative to reduce emissions through greater energy and vehicle efficiency, encouraging changed behaviour by employees at work and at home and through offsetting of unavoidable emissions by purchasing quality carbon credits. The most visible aspect of the initiative came through the construction of three brand new, energy efficient buildings to house the bulk of the company’s management and administration staff. Two of these building are located in the Auckland CBD, one at Quay Park and the other at 80 Queen Street. The third is the Harbour Quays complex on the Wellington waterfront. The Deloitte Centre at 80 Queen Street was tagged "the greenest building in the land" after it became the first building in New Zealand to receive three Five Green Stars awards. The BNZ Quay Park building was nominated for a BeST Design Award in 2008 for Offices and Workplace Environments.
On a Wreath of the Colours, standing on a Mount of earth with ferns proper growing thereon, a Kiwi Or. Not shown here is the crest which sits above the shield. A wreath of the colours is a twisted piece of material the colours of the shield; i.e. Blue and gold. Above that is a mound of earth with (New Zealand) ferns growing upon it. Standing on the earth is a gold (or) Kiwi bird.
Azure, within two chevonels Or, five bezants, in chief three mullets chevronwise and one in the base Argent. What the description means. The shield or escutcheon is the first part mentioned. Azure means blue so the shield is blue. A chevonel is similar to an inverted V and there are two of these and their colour is or which means gold. Gold is usually shown as yellow in drawings. Between the two chevonels are five bezants which are round disk-like shapes often representing coins. No colour is stated as bezants by definition are gold (or). The Chief is the upper part of the shield. A mullet is a five pointed star and there are three of these in the chief. Chevronwise means that the three are placed similar to a chevron; i.e. one above and two lower. The base is the bottom of the shield and one star is placed there. The four stars are coloured argent which is silver or white as usually depicted.