Trust Bank (New Zealand)

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Trust Bank New Zealand Ltd was a registered bank that operated in New Zealand between 1986 and 1996. It was made up of (most of) the former regional savings banks that had their origins as far back as 1847. It was acquired by Westpac Bank in 1996 which phased out the Trust Bank brand at the end of 2002, when the bank was rebranded from WestpacTrust to simply Westpac.[1]

Trust Bank New Zealand logo

Early history[edit]

Trust Bank New Zealand (TBNZ) had its origins in New Zealand's regional trustee savings banks. The five original banks were established under the Savings Bank Act 1858,[2] and were:

After the Second World War there was a huge increase in the number of regional trustee savings banks, with the following new banks opening:[8]

  • the Waikato Savings Bank (est. 1958) [9]
  • the Canterbury Savings Bank (est. 1962)
  • the Hawkes Bay Savings Bank (est. 1962)
  • the Manawatu Wairarapa Savings Bank (est. 1963)
  • the Bay of Plenty Savings Bank (est. 1964)
  • the South Canterbury Savings Bank (est. 1964)
  • the Wellington Savings Bank (est. 1964)
  • the Wanganui Savings Bank (est. 19??)

Some of these banks merged early on (e.g. in 1973 the 'Manawatu Wairarapa Savings Bank' merged with what was by then the 'Hawkes Bay & Gisborne Savings Bank' to form the 'Eastern & Central Savings Bank'[10]) and other renamed to reflect a change in focus (e.g. Dunedin Savings Bank became the Otago Savings Bank in 1964[11]).

Merger and dissolution[edit]

In 1984 the 12 regional banks took on a common name of 'Trustee Banks' - and changed their names to reflect this (e.g. 'Trustee Bank Southland'). The exception to this was the former New Plymouth Savings Bank that had changed its name to Taranaki Savings Bank and continues to trade under this name.

Less than two years later the network re-branded again as Trust Bank (e.g. 'Trust Bank Bay of Plenty'). Shortly after this ASB Trust Bank (who had also retained links to its former name of Auckland Savings Bank) withdrew from the Trust Bank group completely and began expanding as a commercial bank in its own right, simply called ASB Bank Ltd.

In 1988 all savings banks were corporatised under the Trustee Banks Restructuring Act 1988 [12] and ownership of each bank was vested in a regional community trust. At this stage Taranaki Savings Bank (who became TSB Bank Ltd) and Trustbank Westland (who renamed itself "Westland Bank") also left the group. The remaining 9 banks merged into one bank (Trust Bank New Zealand) although they continued to trade under their regional names.[13] The community trusts remained as individual shareholders in the new organisation, with shares distributed as a percentage of shareholder funds.[14]

Finally, in 1996 the community trusts sold Trust Bank New Zealand to Westpac Banking Corporation for $1.2 billion. The two banks merged as WestpacTrust, although the word trust was phased out by 2002. From this time, ASB Bank (who had taken over Westland Bank) and TSB Bank became the only remaining "regional" banks.

Community trusts[edit]

All of the community trusts still exist, although only one retains any shares in the bank that they were established from. Each community trust distributes money to the communities that they served within the boundaries of the former regional banks. The trusts are:[15]


  1. ^ "Trust Bank NZ Ltd". The Community Archive. 2009-06-02. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  2. ^ [1] Archived 12 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "ASB Bank | Business History | Timeline". Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  4. ^ "History of". TSB Bank. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  5. ^ "Dunedin Savings Bank | NZETC". Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  6. ^ "Community Trust of Southland | Community Trust of Southland". Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  7. ^ "The Hokitika Savings Bank | NZETC". Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  8. ^ "Trust Bank NZ Ltd". The Community Archive. 2009-06-02. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  9. ^ "Trust Bank Waikato (1987-1996)". The Community Archive. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  10. ^ "Trust Bank NZ Ltd". The Community Archive. 2009-06-02. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  11. ^ "Trust Bank NZ Ltd". The Community Archive. 2009-06-02. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  12. ^ [2] Archived 11 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ "Community Trust of Southland | Community Trust of Southland". Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  14. ^ "Nominations". Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  15. ^ "List of registered banks in New Zealand - past and present". 2014-11-24. Retrieved 2015-08-30.