Template:Infobox Company Westpac Banking Corporation, usually called Westpac, is the fourth largest bank in Australasia, after the National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank and ANZ bank. The bank began life as the Bank of New South Wales, but after various mergers became Westpac in 1982.
In 1817, the Bank of New South Wales was founded in Sydney as the first bank in Australia. Throughout the 19th and early 20th century, the Bank opened branches throughout Oceania, at Moreton Bay (Brisbane) in 1850, then in Victoria (1851), New Zealand (1861), South Australia (1877), Western Australia (1883), Fiji (1901), Papua New Guinea (1910) and Tasmania (1910).
- 1927: BNSW acquired the Western Australian Bank.
- 1931: It acquired the Australian Bank of Commerce, which had branches in both New South Wales and Queensland.
- 1942: BNSW suspended operations in Papua New Guinea as the Japanese Army captured many of the towns in which it had branches and agencies, and bombed Port Moresby. It resumed operations in 1946.
- 1970: It established a branch on Tarawa in Kiribati (ex-Gilbert Islands), which also took over the government savings bank.
- 1971: It established a branch in the New Hebrides(now Vanuatu).
- 1974: The Bank of New Zealand (20%), Westpac (20%), Bank of Hawaii (20%), and the Government of Tonga (40%) established The Bank of Tonga as a joint venture.
- 1975: It incorporated its local business in Papua New Guinea as Bank of New South Wales (PNG) Ltd.
- 1977: BNSW formed Pacific Commercial Bank Ltd, in Samoa in a joint venture with Bank of Hawaii, by buying into Pacific Savings and Loan Company (est. 1969), in which Bank of Hawaii had had an ownership interest since 1971.
- 1982: BNSW merged with Commercial Bank of Australia to form Westpac Banking Corporation ("Westpac" being a conjugation of "West Pacific").
- 1984: The original agreement between BNSW and the government in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands expired and Westpac and the government of Kiribati formed Bank of Kiribati Ltd as a 51%-49% joint venture. Bank of Kiribati also fulfilled the functions of a reserve or central bank.
- 1985: Westpac replaced Barclays Bank in the National Bank of Tuvalu (est. 1981) in Tuvalu (ex-Ellice Islands), taking 40% of the shares as well as a 10-year management contract.
- 1987: Westpac established a branch in Niue that is the only bank in that country.
- 1988: Westpac acquired the European Pacific Banking Corporation in the Cook Islands and a HSBC subsidiary, the Solomon Islands Banking Corporation, which HSBC had established as a branch in 1973. Westpac also acquired HSBC's operations in Fiji and the New Hebrides.
- 1990: Bank of New Zealand sold half its shares in Bank of Tonga to Westpac and half to Bank of Hawaii, giving each of them 30%. Westpac bought Banque Indosuez's operations in New Caledonia and Tahiti. (Banque de l'Indochine, which later merged into Banque Indosuez, had established itself in New Caledonia in 1888 and in Papeete, Tahiti in 1905. In both places Indochine functioned as the bank of issue until 1966-7.)
- 1995: Westpac sold its shares in National Bank of Tuvalu to the government, which now wholly-owns that bank. Westpac also acquired Western Australia's Challenge Bank, and later adopted the name "Challenge Bank" for all its branches in Western Australia.
- 1996: Westpac acquired the Trust Bank of New Zealand.
- 1997: Westpac acquired the Bank of Melbourne, and subsequently re-branded all Victorian branches as Bank of Melbourne.
- 1998: Westpac sold its operations in New Caledonia and Tahiti to Soci�t� G�n�rale, which merged them with Soci�t� G�n�rale Cal�donienne de Banque (est. 1971) and Banque de Polyn�sie (est. 1973), respectively.
- 2001: The government of Kiribati sought to reduce Westpac's share in Bank of Kiribati from 51 to 49%, leading Westpac to sell its shares back to the government. Bank of Hawaii sold its interest in Pacific Commercial Bank (42.7%) to Westpac, which held an equal portion. Westpac offered Samoan investors, who held the remaining shares, the same price it had paid Bank of Hawaii. Westpac now owns 93.5% of Westpac Bank Samoa and Samoan companies and individuals own 6.5%. In Tonga, Bank of Hawaii sold its shares in Bank of Tonga to Westpac, giving Westpac 60% ownership of the bank.
- 2004: Westpac begins phasing out the Bank of Melbourne brand in Victoria and the Challenge Bank brand in Western Australia.
- Official site
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