With the eminent closure of another banking outlet, Stawell will be left with only one bank; the Commonwealth Bank, plus an agency for the Bendigo Bank. The Stawell Branch of the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited will close its doors for the last time in August 2021. This bank was formed when the A.N.Z. Bank merged with the E.S. & A. Bank in October 1970.
The former A.N.Z. Bank building on the Corner of Main St and Victoria Place was opened in 1869 as the 'Union Bank of Australia'.
Banking is an institution in this district, much older than the Town of Stawell.
It had its beginnings in the very early days of Pleasant Creek when it was reported in the local newspaper on November 21st 1857 that the London Chartered Bank had opened a building in Commercial Street (now Illawarra). The Pleasant Creek Mining District was made up of Commercial Street [the 'Capital'], Deep Lead, Quartz Reefs and innumerable other small centres of activity.
The London Chartered Bank later became the E.S. & A. Bank. The Oriental Banking Corporation was next on the scene advertising in the 'Pleasant Creek Advertiser' on February 4th 1859.
In the same paper, the Union Bank of Australasia in Commercial Street also advertised that their bank was now open. About the same time the Bank of Victoria and the Bank of New South Wales both appeared on the scene.
With the collapse of the alluvial gold field in 1860 the banks decided to quit the alluvial fields of Pleasant Creek and relocate their operations to the new goldfields at the 'Reefs' (now Main Street).
The Oriental Banking Corporation was the first to relocate, opening up in a building on the sight which housed O'Driscoll's Solicitors. The Bank of New South Wales was next to move into a galvanized iron structure on part of the land where Clarke's Furniture is.
On the site which is now the Stawell Craft shop the London Chartered Bank opened a branch in 1863 and later became the E.S. & A. Bank. In November 1957 a new building was constructed on the site and the E.S. & A. remained there until it merged with the A.N.Z.
The Union Bank arrived at the Reefs in 1864 in a building 2 doors from the corner of Layzelle Street near the Oriental Bank. The Bank of Victoria had an office adjoining the Commercial Hotel but it closed in 1890.
In 1929 the Commercial Bank of Australia Ltd purchased the building on the corner of Main and Wimmera Streets and opened a branch. They later merged with the Bank of New South Wales to become the Westpac Banking Corporation. In 1984 this bank was closed when Westpac moved into the old E.S. & A. building.
A branch of the Melbourne Savings Bank opened in 1880 and later became the Stawell Savings Bank and eventually the State Savings Bank of Victoria. The Commonwealth Bank merged with the State Savings Bank in 1991 and in 1998 moved into the current premises.
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