ANZ started life in London in 1835 as the Bank of Australasia when it was created under a Royal Charter, opening a branch in Sydney in the same year. In 1838 the bank opened a branch in Melbourne, the city where its headquarters are located today. In 1837 the Union Bank Australia was established as an Anglo-Australian financial institution. Another Anglo-Australian bank, the English, Scottish and Australian Bank (ES&A), was created in 1852.
The Bank of Australasia merged with the Union Bank of Australia in 1951 to create ANZ Bank, and extended operations around the world. In 1970, ANZ merged with ES&A to form the current organisation, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited. This was the biggest merger in Australian banking history at the time, and ANZ continued to expand, merging several smaller banks including Bank of Adelaide in 1979, Grindlays Bank in 1984 and PostBank, purchased from New Zealand Government 1989. In 2003 ANZ acquired the National Bank of New Zealand. In 2009 ANZ officially gained full ownership of ING Australia, making the group one of the biggest insurance companies in the country. In 2010 ANZ took over the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) interests in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Indonesia. Today ANZ is the fourth largest bank in Australia and the largest bank in New Zealand. With headquarters in Melbourne, offices across Australia and New Zealand, it is also one of the leading Australian banks in the Asia-Pacific region.