inside queen street branch

Inside the Queen Street branch, 1986.

school banking

School Banking.

St Lukes branch 1979

St Lukes branch, 1979.


Traditionally the ASB Bank was a provider of savings accounts and home-loan services, the bank was subject to a high degree of government control over its range of activities and even the extent of its branches. For example, under the provisions of the Savings Bank Act of 1908, savings banks were required to pay 5 percent interest on accounts of 1 upwards, but no interest was payable on accounts of over 100. In 1932 this was reduced by the government to 4 percent and in 1942, 3 percent, where it remained for the next forty two years.

Early innovation came about in the 1920s, when the ASB launched thrift clubs, which offered customers a way of saving for Christmas. School bank programmes were also instituted along a similar fashion, whereby school children could open bank accounts and deposit funds through the school on banking day.

More dramatic change to bank products came about in the 1970s and 1980s as government deregulation of the financial sector took effect. In 1974 the ASB, through its 75 branches, was permitted to offer its customers personal cheque facilities alongside its main product of home mortgage finance. In 1980, this was extended to credit card services, as well as Term loans and overdraft facilities.

More significant, in 1981, was the installation of Automatic Teller Machines offering depositors 24 hour access to funds, complemented by new 'Speedibank' branches, providing an express service for deposits, withdrawals and new accounts. It was the start of an increasingly technology-driven approach to bank marketing and distribution.

In 1982, The HIT account (High Interest Trustee savings account) was introduced, supported by a switch to calculation of interest on a daily basis rather than a monthly basis as previous. It was supported by a 'tellerphone' service allowing depositors to transfer funds between HIT accounts over the phone.

In the 1990s, the range of electronic products the bank offered its customers increased considerably. In 1994 a business banking product, Gateway, was introduced offering small and medium-sized businesses access by PC to their accounts to obtain account statements, transfer funds, make direct debits, carry out account reconciliation, and obtain financial market information. In 1997 the ASB Bank launched BankDirect, an internet-based banking product, offering discount mortgage rates and electronic account management. This was supplemented in 2000 with the introduction of ASB Securities offering online share trading. Though home-loans remain a central feature of ASB Bank products, the bank now offers an extensive range of business, personal, treasury, and electronic services.

first of the cashflow cards 1984 First of the cashflow cards, 1984.

introduction of ATMs Introduction of ATMs.

© The University of Auckland Business School