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Our History

Part of New Zealand since 1875

Heartland's roots stretch back to 1875 with the inception of Ashburton Permanent Building & Investment Society, which subsequently merged with SMC Building Society and Loan & Building Society. Together they became CBS Canterbury. Over the decades they provided the people in the Canterbury region with home, rural and business loans, term investments, and savings and day-to-day accounts.

Southern Cross similarly had a long history.  Opening in Auckland in 1923, it offered a similar range of financial services to its customers throughout the North Island.

For nearly 60 years MARAC has supported the growth of small-to-medium sized New Zealand businesses with a range of finance, investment and insurance solutions.

On 31 August 2011, PGG Wrightson Finance (PWF) became a subsidiary of Heartland.  PWF was an important acquisition for Heartland, bringing significant impetus to Heartland’s rural strategy and diversity to Heartland’s asset base. The financial services activities of PWF were established over more than 75 years, by leading stock and station companies, Williams & Kettle, Wrightson, Pyne Gould Guinness, and Reid Farmers.  Mergers brought the finance arms of these entities together creating what is now PWF.

CBS Canterbury, Southern Cross, MARAC and PWF now operate as one, Heartland, combining their experience, knowledge and a shared vision to partner with enterprising New Zealanders to succeed.

On 17 December 2012 the Reserve Bank of New Zealand registered Heartland Building Society as a bank, meaning Heartland Bank achieved its goal of becoming the only New Zealand operated, controlled and managed banking group, with a parent company listed on the NZX Main Board. 

On 31 January 2013 Heartland Building Society converted from a building society to a company, and became Heartland Bank Limited.