Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author

12 July 2010

Bank of New South Wales, St. Bathans, Central Otago

This is the well maintained (for historical reasons) Bank of New South Wales in St. Bathans, the old gold town in Central Otago. It was built in 1864. I wonder how much gold was checked in there from the wonderfully rich deposits mined just across the road?

My first bank in New Zealand was the Bank of NSW, I became a customer in 1962. The bank changed its name to Westpac Bank some years later (I think but am not sure that it was a neologism created out of Western Pacific Bank).

I expect all of the customers of the BNSW in St.Bathans were known personally and by name to the manager. I have never met my bank manager in 48 years, none of the faces I see in the bank recognize me, the staff changes with reckless speed. Despite assurances in their advertisements banks no longer offer true, personal service preferring customers to indulge in the faceless practice of going ‘on line’.

Not everything changes for the better.


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By Don Donovan