History Matters || First banks to open in Glen Innes

History Matters || First banks to open in Glen Innes

As we are progressively using a phone or plastic cards, abandoning cheques and cash - sovereigns, guineas, passbooks, pounds, shillings and pence become but a distant memory.

The first Australian bank was also the first bank to open in Glen Innes.

Bank of New South Wales Inspector Timothy O'Sullivan Green, on a tour of inspection of the Maitland and Tamworth branches, had been instructed to report on the Inverell district after those people had petitioned for a branch.

However, Green didn't recommended Inverell, but chose Glen Innes, and Inverell did not get that bank for another seven years.

Bill Cameron wrote: In 1866 the Bank of NSW commenced business in premises which the bank leased on a site between the Court House and Royal Hotel.

Two years later the bank bought a building on the northeast corner of Grey and Ferguson streets - now site of the Elm Apartments.

At the time the main business part of the town was in the north end of Grey Street.

Business gradually moved south, and this prompted the bank to purchase land and erect a substantial building on the southwest corner of Meade and Grey Streets.

With the coming of the railway, prospects looked bright for the town. By the time the railway was opened in 1884 the town boasted three banks, all in substantial two storied buildings

The depression of the 1890s placed a great strain on the financial resources of all banks in Australia

During this critical period the Wales was the only one of three banks which did not have to close its doors for a time when some banks were forced out of business.

As the Wales was able to carry on trading over this critical period it built up a reputation for stability.

When Australia was rocked by another severe depression in the 1930s the Wales remained in a strong position again, although some banks failed.

In 1931 the Wales amalgamated with the Australian Bank of Commerce and moved their premises to the spot ABC had occupied.

The building currently occupied by the now Westpac Bank was originally built by the Australian Joint Stock Bank and opened for business in 1886. Alexander Hutchison erected it to the plans of architect Blackman.

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