The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]
The five banks in operation in New Zealand have branch offices in Napier, and the buildings occupied by them are among the finest in the town. The establishment of the first banking house in Hawke's Bay dates back to 1858. On January 9th of that year the “Hawke's Bay Herald,” in a leading article, strongly advocated the establishment of a branch bank in Napier, and on the 4th of the following September it congratulated the settlers upon the arrival of Mr. Brathwaite, manager of the future branch of the Union Bank. This institution opened its doors to the public on the 1st of October, in Emerson Street. The Bank of New Zealand established its branch office in Napier on the 2nd of April, 1862.
Some figures relative to banking operations in New Zealand may prove of interest. For the quarter ended December 31st, 1906, the total deposits amounted to £22,202,640; of this, £2,108,841 represented the Government deposit; £10,250,540 was at call, and £9,843,259 was bearing interest. The total liabilities of the banks amounted to £23,972,561, and the excess of assets over liabilities was £1,368,438. For the same period the value of the notes in circulation was £1,611,220, and the coin and bullion held by the banks amounted to £4,696,758. The returns of the Post Office Savings Bank for the year 1906 reflect the general prosperous and well-to-do condition of the community. The deposits for the year were £7,907,153, and the withdrawals, £6,907,103. The excesses of deposits over withdrawals for the past three years were: £171,770 in 1904, £641,589 in 1905, and £1,000,050 in 1906. There are other Savings Banks in the colony in addition to the Post Office institution, notably one at Auckland, which does a larger business than the Government office in the northern city.