Can We Bank on In­ter­est

Hills to Hawkesbury Living Magazine - - Memories With Ivor Jones & Friends -

Go­ing out to din­ner one night re­cently, my wife and I were dis­cussing top­ics for ar­ti­cles on Mem­o­ries in this pub­li­ca­tion. “Why not write about banks?” she asked.

“Do you think there would be any in­ter­est?” I ques­tioned. Think­ing that there is very lit­tle in­ter­est in what the banks pay on sav­ings. “I guess I could start on the old School Sav­ings Ac­counts” I sug­gested. “The Com­mon­wealth Bank now call such ac­counts Dol­lar Mite ac­counts, what they were called prior to Dec­i­mal Cur­rency I can’t re­call but per­haps it was sim­ply School Sav­ings Ac­counts” I thought later that it was a much sim­pler time with­out all the mar­ket­ing. You called things what they were. Corn Flakes were sim­ply Corn Flakes with no fancy names or ti­tles. But I di­gress. Now, get­ting back to banks and sav­ings - re­mem­ber the old money boxes? The Com­mon­wealth Bank had the metal money box based on the Com­mon­wealth Bank Build­ing in Mar­tin Place, Syd­ney. I had a very early one which could only be opened with a can opener. Later ones came with a metal plug in the bot­tom which made it eas­ier to ex­tract the coins. The Bank of NSW (The first bank in Aus­tralia) had an ele­phant shaped money box.

An­other point about banks was the in­tro­duc­tion of credit cards. In the 1970s the banks got to­gether to form Bankcard Aus­tralia. The only credit cards avail­able prior to that were “Din­ers Club” and “Amer­i­can Ex­press”. Re­mem­ber the slo­gan “Don’t leave home with­out one”? When Bankcard was first is­sued they were sent to bank cus­tomers un­so­licited. A con­se­quence of this was that many cus­tomers did not know how to cor­rectly use the credit cards and amassed some huge debts. In some cases Bankcards were is­sued to chil­dren and there were also re­ports of pets such as dogs also be­ing is­sued with the cards. Some peo­ple had ap­par­ently opened up bank ac­counts in the name of their pets. I re­call that my late fa­ther-in­law would go to an elec­tri­cal re­tailer to buy say a TV and would ask the sales as­sis­tant “How much for cash?” When given the cash price, my fa­ther-in-law would then pro­duce his Bankcard think­ing that it was the equiv­a­lent to cash. He would pay the Bankcard ac­count when it was re­ceived not re­al­is­ing that the cash price of­fered by the re­tailer was to avoid the re­tailer pay­ing the banks a com­mis­sion on the use of the Bankcard.

We now talk of the “big 4” banks in Aus­tralia, but back in the 1960s there were more. Re­mem­ber the Ru­ral Bank of NSW, The Com­mer­cial Bank­ing Co of Aus­tralia (CBA), the Com­mer­cial Bank­ing Co of Syd­ney (CBC) or the English, Scot­tish and Aus­tralia Bank (ES&A) or go­ing bank even fur­ther there was the State Sav­ings Bank of NSW and also the Aus­tralian Joint Stock Bank plus many other banks op­er­at­ing in var­i­ous states.

The State Sav­ings Bank of NSW dis­ap­peared dur­ing the 1930s with its as­sets be­ing ab­sorbed into the Com­mon­wealth Bank. In the late 60s and early 70s the big four banks got big­ger and un­der­went, in some cases, a change in name af­ter ac­quir­ing (or rather merg­ing with some of the smaller banks). The Na­tional Bank of Aus­tralia be­came the Na­tional Aus­tralia Bank af­ter it ac­quired the CBC. The Bank of NSW changed its name to West­pac ( for Western Pa­cific Bank) af­ter it took over the CBA. ANZ which didn’t change its name how­ever did not want to be out­done in the con­sol­i­da­tion of bank­ing in Aus­tralia ac­quired the E.S. & A bank and its sub­sidiary fi­nance com­pany ESANDA. Shortly af­ter this bank­ing con­sol­i­da­tion there was also changes in the Per­ma­nent Build­ing So­ci­eties where some also be­came banks and were sub­se­quently ac­quired by the ma­jor big four banks. The Par­ra­matta Per­ma­nent Build­ing So­ci­ety & United Per­ma­nent Build­ing So­ci­ety merged and was later taken over by a bank. St Ge­orge Build­ing So­ci­ety ac­quired the Hol­royd Build­ing So­ci­ety and then be­came the St. Ge­orge Bank which is now part of the West­pac group which also in­cludes the Bank of Mel­bourne. The NSW Per­ma­nent Build­ing So­ci­ety be­came the State Build­ing So­ci­ety and then merged with the Ru­ral Bank of NSW to be­come the State Bank and was ac­quired by the Com­mon­wealth Bank.

There are still some smaller play­ers in the field how­ever in­clud­ing the Bendigo & Ade­laide Bank which trades as Bendigo Bank. And also there is the Bank of Queens­land and the Sun­corp Bank ( for­merly Met­way Bank) both Queens­land-based.

Don’t for­get to con­trib­ute your mem­o­ries and also any old pho­to­graphs that you would like to see pub­lished in this mag­a­zine’s “as we were” sec­tion.

Now what about your mem­o­ries or your story?

You can write about child­hood mem­o­ries of where you may have grown up or mov­ing into the area. Tell us about your school days. Where you worked, played or went on hol­i­days; your first car; that first date, get­ting mar­ried or maybe the his­tory of your fam­ily, group or or­gan­i­sa­tion in the district. This page is about mem­o­ries so tell us yours.

If you have some great mem­o­ries, or per­haps you be­long to a lo­cal com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tion and would like to share your or­gan­i­sa­tion’s his­tory or story with us then feel free to share your mem­o­ries or ex­pe­ri­ences by writ­ing to 17 Rose St, Baulkham Hills, NSW, 2153 or email to ivor­jones@hill­sto­hawkes­

You can also share mem­o­ries on any of my Face­book mem­o­ries groups in­clud­ing Hills District Mem­o­ries at face­ Hills.mem­o­ries or Hawkes­bury Hap­pen­ings & Mem­o­ries at face­­o­ries.

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