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Our History

Our story began when a group of public-spirited citizens saw the need to provide housing finance by way of a co-operative venture and launched the Launceston Equitable Building and Investment Society in January 1870.

1870

Launceston Equitable Building & Investment Society launches

Our story began when a group of public-spirited citizens saw the need to provide housing finance by way of a co-operative venture and launched the Launceston Equitable Building and Investment Society in January 1870.

The cash taken at the first meeting totalled only $235 but the nine directors, chaired by the then Superintendent of Police, James Coulter, were delighted even though it would be 10 years before any of them received any remuneration.

The first loan for $400 was issued to James Brickhill for land in Brisbane Street between Margaret and Bourke Street and the second was a more substantial loan of $1000 to Gustavus Gabriel for a Wellington Street shop and house.

Along with helping people to own their own homes at a time when there was no public housing in Tasmania, the Society’s goal was to encourage thrift in a town where there were more pubs than churches. To reinforce these goals, staff were personally told in 1890 they should not indulge in the widespread practice of gambling and betting and a society advertisement in the 1943 Launceston Competition Program read “Houses are proof of the industry of man; ownership the proof of his thrift and enterprise”.

1877

Renamed: Launceston Equitable Building Society

The biggest growth period for the society, which changed its name to the Launceston Equitable Building Society in May 1877, came after World War II when it, and other Launceston Societies, lent almost $10 million and financed more than 7000 homes in 10 years.

1888

The then Equitable Building Society (EBS) provides banking services in southern Tasmania through agencies

1968

Bass Building Society incorporates in Devonport.

In May 1968, a group of eight north west coast business men met and decided the 'Coast' should have its own building society providing “coastal money for coastal homes”.

On 17 July 1968, the Society was incorporated at the first meeting of the Board and its registered office was set up in one small office in Devonport.

Des Day was appointed as the Society’s first Chairman and the first public investment was accepted on 26 September 1968.

For the first four years, the directors did not receive any remuneration for their time and it was four years before the Society was in a position to pay its secretary – and then only $10 a week.

1976

Ulverstone Bass branch opens

1977

Wynyard Bass branch opens

1979

Burnie Bass branch opens

1981

EBS Rosny branch opens

1981

New Bass Building Society Head office

1986

Moonah and Hobart EBS branches open

1988

Bass Building Society and Equitable Building Society merge forming – Bass & Equitable Building Society

By the late 1980s big was seen as better for financial institutions and on November 1, Equitable Building Society and Bass Building Society merged to enable them to compete effectively and to provide a state-wide network of branches.

The amalgamation of the State’s oldest building society (Equitable) with the youngest and largest (Bass) to become the Bass and Equitable Building Society created the State’s largest non-bank financial institution with assets of more than $90 million.

2000

Moonah branch relocates to Glenorchy

2001

Bass & Equitable is renamed B&E

In November 2001, Bass & Equitable, changed its name to B&E to mark a fresh image and marketing strategy for the Society. In part, the name change was a push for more of the youth and personal loan market, but the goal was also to drop the “building society” reference for the first time in the organisation’s long history to reflect the new broader focus of the company which by now offered a wide range of financial services including home and personal loans, business overdrafts, commercial loans, credit and debit cards, deposit and cheque accounts and BPAY.

2006

B&E logo is refreshed

2017

The year of change

2017

B&E becomes Bank of us

On 1 November 2017, B&E became Bank of us. Bank of us is a different kind of bank – a customer owned bank.

The new name isn’t ‘Bank of you’ or Bank of me’, it’s Bank of us. The ‘us’ implies being part of something bigger. As the only Tasmanian customer owned bank, Bank of us is placing people at the heart of banking and the circular layers of the logo represent Tasmania, the community, customers and the bank.

At Bank of us, profits will continue to benefit customers, through better products and services and, not profit for external stakeholders.

It may not be what people expect from a bank, but then Bank of us is not like any other bank.