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The Lighter Note: Another bank brand lost

THE loss of the Home Building Society brand is yet another of those names that disappear from time to time and make The Note feel old. Around since 1946, Home had managed to keep itself relevant and interesting, using the Mini Coopers (right) to keep us enthralled. But, with its conversion into Bank of Queensland, the Home name goes the way of so many others. Remember Perth Building Society, the PBS, which started life in 1862 and following a merger with Hotham Permanent Building Society became Challenge Bank in 1987? Now it’s just Westpac. And what about Westpac itself? It used to be the Bank of New South Wales, which could track its lineage back to 1817, until it merged with Commercial Bank of Australia in 1982 and caught the attention of branding strategists with an eye to world (or at least regional) domination. The bank staged a drawn-out metamorphosis via the name Wales, with its prominent red W, before finally morphing into the Westpac we know today. The Note wonders what will happen if it slays the dragon of St George Bank? UK-owned BankWest started life in 1895 as the Agricultural Bank of WA, which then became Rural & Industries Bank of WA in 1945, trading as the R&I until 1994 when it became the Bank of WA just prior to its privatisation. HBOS grabbed a big stake at listing and finally took it over outright this decade. Whilst we are a trip down memory lane, what about the Town & Country (WA) Building Society which became part of the ANZ in 1990. On a historic footnote, the ANZ also has the brief-lived Bank of WA (1837-1841) as part of its early foundations, as well as the Hobart-based Convict Savings Bank – now there’s an attractive brand name for a financial institution.

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