National Bank of New Zealand

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National Bank of New Zealand
Subsidiary of ANZ
Industry Financial services
Founded 1872
Defunct 28 October 2012
Headquarters Wellington, New Zealand
Slogan For The Places You'll Go
National Bank Tower
205 Queen Street Auckland

The National Bank of New Zealand (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 banking services to mainly major industrial and rural as well as some personal and small business customers.

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 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.


Newton branch, corner of Queen Street and Karangahape Road

NBNZ was founded in 1872 in London as an overseas bank and shared many directors with Lloyds Bank. The next year it established branches in Wellington, Auckland, and Christchurch, and acquired 13 branches from ailing Bank of Otago (1863–73), see William Larnach. The National Bank of New Zealand (Ltd) Act gave NBNZ 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 1919, Lloyds Bank acquired a small interest in NBNZ. This situation continued until 1966, when Lloyds Bank purchased NBNZ outright. National Bank and the Bank of New Zealand established joint data processing services, which they combined as Databank Systems Limited in 1967.

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

In 1978 NBNZ moved its head office from London to Wellington. At that time the Black Horse became the symbol of NBNZ. The National Bank's distinctive Black Horse logo dates back to 1677 London when Humphrey Stockes adopted it as sign for his shop. Stokes was a goldsmith and 'keeper of the running cashes', an early term for banker. When Lloyds Bank took over the site in 1884 it retained the horse as its symbol.

In 1987 NBNZ acquired Southpac Investment Management Limited. Five years later, NBNZ purchased The Rural Bank Limited, the former New Zealand Government owned bank, from Fletcher Challenge. NBNZ continued consolidating banking in NZ when in 1998, NBNZ purchased Countrywide Banking Corporation from Bank of Scotland.

A National Bank Cashpoint

In 2003 ANZ purchased NBNZ from Lloyds TSB. With the purchase, ANZ also bought the right to continue to use the Black Horse logo for seven years.

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.[1]

Advertising and sponsorship

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.


  1. "Banks fight for unhappy National Bank customers". 27 September 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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