images 10 1847 sir john logan campbell

On Saturday 5th June 1847 the Auckland Savings Bank was officially opened with Governor George Grey as the newly appointed President and Sir John Logan Campbell, secretary.


Despite the banks slow beginnings, management decided to hire their first employee. Andrew Kerr was employed and appointed Accountant at a starting salary of £25 per annum.

bullet 1854

Offered its first mortgage: £400 for a 60-acre farm in Mt Eden. By the end of the year £1900 had been lent out on mortgages.

bullet 1867 first purpose built bullding

The Post-Office Savings-Bank was introduced, which was a national institution under government control and in direct competition with the Auckland Savings Bank.

images 5 1875

The Auckland Savings Bank introduced what is commonly known as the "Penny Bank Account" which was targeted at the younger banking public. Five new accounts were opened on the first day alone.

bullet 1884 first branch opened

New Queen Street offices opened. The new Newton branch opened.

images 5 1885

An Amending Act was passed in Parliament essentially permitting Trustees to invest one-third of the deposits in local-body debentures

bullet 1900

The Auckland Savings Bank for the first time records a volume of transactions exceeding £1 million.

bullet 1906 inside devenport branch

After many years of lobbying the bank was able to get a Special Bill passed enabling them to fund community projects directly. Immediately the bank donated £10,000 towards the construction of a Technical School on Wellesley Street (commonly known today as Auckland University of Technology).

bullet 1912

Founding ASB trustee, and city father, Sir John Logan Campbell dies. It was described as being one of the largest funerals the city had witnessed. Shops closed in his memory and thousands of people lined the route to the crypt on the summit of One Tree Hill.

bullet 1915

During the First World War, ASB pays enlisted staff half wages while on National service. Due to labour shortages, the trustees hire women for the first time. Women were not permitted to serve customers but were confined to perform tasks such as typing and adding machine work.

bullet 1927 school banking

The School bank scheme was introduced allowing children to open up an account with as little as a penny and make deposits through their schools to the bank.

bullet 1933

The government announce that trustee savings banks were no longer exempt from income tax, due to the depleted funds from the Depression.

images 6 1934

The ASB leased farm land to Mount Albert Grammar for courses in agriculture.

bullet 1942

Many ASB staff volunteered to serve in the armed forces during the Second World War. The bank, again, assisted by subsidising service pay. Women were now allowed to be tellers due to the large shortage of tellers who were serving overseas.

image 4 1947

The bank celebrates 100 years of operation and has over £20 million in deposits.

bullet 1957 bank staff processing

Three new branches are opened in Customs St, Greenwoods Corner and Pukekohe.

bullet 1962

The ASB ran its first series of television commercials: a thirty second message screened every Saturday evening at an annual cost of £2500.

bullet 1966

The Auckland Savings Bank is granted permission for its own Coat of Arms with the motto "Tomorrow Made Secure". The bank ordered 38 computer terminals from IBM for £375,222.

bullet 1967

ASB closes its doors for two working days to prepare for the change over to decimal currency.

bullet 1970 Late 1960s, electronic data processing (EDP)

Branches increasingly linked via a computer system.

bullet 1971 kashin the friendly elephant

The Bank purchases the now famous Kashin the Elephant for the Auckland Zoo for $8500 following the death of their other Elephant, Malini.

bullet 1972

The Trustee Savings Banks Amendment Act is passed enabling the ASB to lend up to 75 per cent of valuation on first mortgages of freehold property.

bullet 1973

The government signalled that the bank was now allowed to invest part of its statutory cash reserves in term deposits, provided the funds could be called in any time on demand. Immediately the ASB invested $500,000 with the Commercial Bank of Australia at 7 per cent interest for five years.

bullet 1978 St lukes branch 1979

The Bank begins using surveillance cameras. They were initially tested in six branches, and then were later installed at all ASB branches. Ninety cameras were ordered at a cost of $107,750. Low-Start mortgages were introduced by the ASB, making it possible for single income earners on a low salary to buy a first house.

bullet 1979

All branches of ASB go online. At this point the bank purchased its first word processor and 58 adding machines.

bullet 1980 introduction of ATMs

Automation was becoming increasingly accepted in banking which bought in the introduction of EFTPOS (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale).

bullet 1983 first woman president

Mrs Lillian Chrystall became the first woman in the bank's history to become president.

bullet 1984 Bank CEO 1986-91, Dennis Ferrier

ASB expand into travel and foreign exchange with the bank joining a partnership with Atlantic and Pacific Travel International Ltd, trading as ASB Travel. 1987 The bank decides to rename as "ASB Bank Ltd".

bullet 1988

The Trustees Bank Restructuring Bill, aimed at establishing such banks as public companies, on an equal footing with other financial institutions, passed its final stages in Parliament and came into force May 1st. The ASB Bank Community Trust became the new owners of the bank.

bullet 1989

Commonwealth Bank of Australia purchased 75% of ASB Bank shares from the ASB Bank Community Trust for $252m.

bullet 1990 new look branch colors

ASB announced as the major sponsor of the 1990 Commonwealth Games held in Auckland.

bullet 1991 ASB Bank center 1991

In August, Governor General Dame Catherine Tizard opened the ASB Bank Centre. Built at a cost of $200 million, on the corner of Wellesley and Albert Streets, the new head office was a joint venture with Fletcher Construction.

bullet 1998

ASB launches its Fastnet service. This service enables customers to bank online. ASB also launches its subsidiary Bank Direct.

bullet 1999

ASB teams up with Microsoft to develop the Fastnet banking service, allowing customers to download their bank statements directly to their personal financial management software. The ASB purchases the insurance company Sovereign Ltd to expand into the insurance market. ASB Bank also purchases the retail share broking operation of Warberg Dillion Read to establish ASB Securities.

bullet 2000

Commonwealth Bank of Australia purchase the remaining 25 per cent shareholding in ASB Bank to become the sole owner of the bank.

bullet 2003 24hour ATM

ASB Bank tops a survey of customer satisfaction run by the market research firm, AC Neilson.

© The University of Auckland Business School