The Black Horse has bolted and Taranaki's TSB Bank was the first to seize the opportunity to try to attract its customers.
Just hours after the country's biggest bank, ANZ National, confirmed reports it would merge the ANZ and National Bank brands, Taranaki's TSB Bank pounced.
TSB's tailored advertising campaign began screening during the 6pm news, planting the first major flag in the battle to saddle up unhappy National Bank customers.
The merger announced on Wednesday comes almost 10 years after ANZ bought National Bank.
TSB has been on a major expansion programme in recent years.
Chief executive Kevin Murphy said he was sure National Bank customers would feel at home with TSB Bank.
"Being independent and New Zealand owned means we can focus 100 per cent on what's right for our customers, not an overseas owner," Mr Murphy said.
It had been widely known the merger was coming and TSB wanted to make hay in the expected battle for market share as soon as possible, he said.
"I think that what we are going to see is that all of the major banks will have something in the box.
"We were prepared, I think that everyone has been prepared, and when the opportunity arose we were able to get to the market first."
TSB followed up on the television commercial with a print advertising in newspapers yesterday.
Mr Murphy said TSB was quietly chuffed with its response to the news.
"We are pleased, I think that is a benefit of being small and nimble. We can act quickly and we are responsive.
The Taranaki community would benefit if TSB were successful in increasing its market share by way of the dividend paid to the TSB Community Trust for distribution to deserving Taranaki groups and organisations," Mr Murphy said.
Last year the bank gave $10 million back to the community.
In addition to its 14 Taranaki branches, TSB Bank also has three offices in Auckland, two in Hawke's Bay and one each in Wellington, Hamilton, Tauranga, Christchurch, Palmerston North and Nelson.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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