Timeline of banking in Western Australia

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The first commercial bank in Western Australia was created eight years after the establishment of the Swan River Colony in 1829.

Entries in italics indicate a locally (W.A.) domiciled operation.

Early 1830sThe Colonial Secretary of Western Australia, Peter Broun, begins a makeshift banking service out of necessity, despite having no training in finance or accounting. It collapses in 1835.
June 1837the Bank of Western Australia (BWA) is established by prominent local businessmen including George Leake as its first chairman
1841the Bank of Western Australia is sold to the Bank of Australasia
1841The Western Australia Bank (WAB) is established
1845The original Bank of Western Australia closes
1855Government savings bank opens
1863Post Office Savings Bank opens
1862 Perth Building Society (PBS) opens [1]
1866branch of National Bank opens
1878branch of Union Bank of Australia opens
1883branch of Bank of New South Wales opens
1888branch of Commercial Bank of Australia opens
1895 Government of Western Australia establishes the Agricultural Bank of Western Australia
1927Western Australian Bank acquired by Bank of NSW
1945Agricultural Bank renamed to the Rural and Industries Bank of Western Australia (R&I)
1975??Western Australian Building Society (WABS) agrees to merger with the Town and Country Building Society on the 27th of April 1983
1987Perth Building Society merges with Hotham Building Society to form Challenge Bank [2]
1990Town and Country Building Society, WA acquired by ANZ [2]
1994R&I renamed to Bank of Western Australia Limited, trading as BankWest
1995Challenge Bank acquired by Westpac (formerly Bank of NSW)
1995 Bank of Scotland acquired BankWest, and as part of the sale agreement, offered 49 per cent of the shares in BankWest to the public. BankWest shares listed on the Australian Stock Exchange on 1 February 1996.
2001 Halifax Group (a large UK financial institution) merged with Bank of Scotland to form HBOS plc. HBOS then acquired all the outstanding shares of BankWest, making it HBOS's wholly owned subsidiary. Bankwest continues to trade as BankWest for retail and business banking services.
2008 Commonwealth Bank acquires Bankwest from HBOS for $2.1bn, fallout from the financial crisis of 2007–2008


  1. "Perth Building Society - Corporate entry - Guide to Australian Business Records".
  2. 1 2 http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/wa/consol_act/aanzbglca1995617/notes.html

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