Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Archives Group, Sydney

Identity area



Authorized form of name

Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Archives Group, Sydney

Parallel form(s) of name

Other form(s) of name

  • Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA)
  • Formerly Commonwealth Bank Documentation and Archives Centre, Sydney


  • Business

Contact area


Group Archivist



Street address

Level 4, 133 Liverpool Street, Sydney




New South Wales

Country name

Postal code





Description area


The Commonwealth Bank was founded under the Commonwealth Bank Act in 1911 and commenced operations in 1912, empowered to conduct both savings and general banking business.

From the 1920s the Commonwealth Bank carried out central bank as well as trading and savings bank functions.

In 1959, the original body corporate, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, was preserved as the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) under the Reserve Bank Act 1959 (Cth). At that same time, the commercial and savings banking functions were transferred into a new institution, which carried on the old name of Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

The Commonwealth Banks Restructuring Act 1990 (Cth) converted the Commonwealth Bank from a statutory authority to a public company with conventional share capital and part-Government ownership. On 17 April 1991, the organisation became a public company with a share capital governed by the Corporations Law but subject to certain overriding provisions of the Commonwealth Banks Act 1959. The Commonwealth Bank was fully privatised in three stages from 1991 until July 1996.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Group Archives serves the bank's internal needs and supplies information to the public about the organisation’s history and operations. The Archives houses information about the Commonwealth Bank and other financial institutions whose archives have come to the bank as a result of amalgamations (including Colonial Mutual Limited and the Rural Bank of New South Wales).

For further details on the Commonwealth Bank's history, including the banks which merged with the Commonwealth Bank and those whose records are held by the Group Archives, see the bank website.

Geographical and cultural context

Mandates/Sources of authority

Administrative structure

Records management and collecting policies

The Group Archives holds records of enduring value which form part of the corporate memory of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Holdings include records and other documentation from the Commonwealth Bank and from other entities that have been amalgamated with the bank.

The Group Archives holds records in all formats and its acquisitions include clothing, equipment, and memorabilia.



  • Business records of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia including: Board papers and related documents, photographs, property records and building plans, branch records and staffing records.
  • Documentation such as product disclosure and customer information material, advertising, and in-house distributions (eg staff magazine Bank Notes).
  • Inherited archives from the State Bank of New South Wales (1931-1994), incorporating the Rural Bank of New South Wales and from Colonial Limited (1873-2000) incorporating Colonial Mutual.
  • Various materials relating to other amalgamated entities, eg Government Savings Banks of New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia.

After the establishment of the Reserve Bank of Australia and the separation of central banking functions, many pre-1965 Commonwealth Bank records are held by the Reserve Bank of Australia Archives

Pre-amalgamation contents of the Archives of the State Bank of Victoria are held by the Public Record Office Victoria.

Records of the Trust Bank are held by the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office.

Finding aids, guides and publications

Access area

Opening times

Onsite search room open by appointment only. Enquiries should be addressed to the Reference Archivist.

Access conditions and requirements

Access to some materials is restricted.


Services area

Research services

Reproduction services

Public areas

Control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Revised 10 July 2020




Maintenance notes

Access points

Access Points

  • Industry, Manufacturing and Commerce (Thematic area)
  • Clipboard

Primary contact

Level 4, 133 Liverpool Street, Sydney
Sydney, New South Wales 2000