Primary contactLevel 4, 133 Liverpool Street, Sydney
Sydney, New South Wales 2000
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 Documentation and Archives Centre serves the bank's internal needs and supplies information to the public about the organisation’s history and operations. The centre 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 Documentation and Archives Centre, see the bank website.
The 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 Commonwealth Bank of Australia Archives holds records in all formats and its acquisitions include clothing, equipment, and memorabilia.
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.