Banking on first 160 years

BY JARED SMITH
Last updated 05:00 21/08/2010

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The definitive history of the Taranaki Savings Bank and its growth from New Plymouth to throughout the country has been put to paper.

From Faith to Fortune: The TSB Bank Story 1850-2010 was launched at the TSB Centre branch this week to coincide with the 160th anniversary celebrations.

It represents 15 months work by author and bank director David Walter who "opened my mouth" while the search was on to find a writer since the 150th anniversary.

He has traced everything from when New Plymouth Savings Bank was established by proclamation of Governor-in-Chief Sir George Grey in 1850, through to TSB's independent survival following the deregulation of the financial sector by the Labour government in the 1980s.

"The bank had its annual reports and very fortunately someone started a scrapbook of newspaper clippings from 1923.That was invaluable.

"I tried to weave in the bank's evolvement with the national developments."

Other sources were interviews, history books by H.E. Carney and Fred Burns, Puke Ariki and the Taranaki Daily News library.

Mr Walter said launching the book at the TSB Centre was entirely appropriate given it opened in 1930, halfway through the 160 years. The building was quite a statement for the town at the time with its ivory terracotta from England and red granite from Scotland.

Mr Walter also credited former TSB managing director Kevin Rimmington for providing 50 years of personal knowledge to the project.

TSB Bank managing director and CEO Kevin Murphy said 2000 copies had been printed and the book would be for sale through the TSB branches. Copies would be made available to collectors and libraries.

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