[Editor: This advertisement, for the creation of a new bank in Victoria, was published in The Argus, (Melbourne, Vic.), 1 August 1855. The prospectus appeals to local patriotism, saying that the main banks in Victoria have “derived immense profits payable chiefly to a foreign proprietary” and that the people of Victoria should be getting “whatever advantages can be derived from the employment of their own capital”.]
The Colonial Bank of Australasia
Established on the Scottish Principle.
To be Incorporated by Act of Council, Limiting the Liability of the Shareholders.
Capital: One Million Sterling,
In 100,000 Shares of £10 each.
Preliminary Deposit, 2s. 6d. per Share.
The next payment will be £1 7s. 6d. per share, after which no Call shall exceed £1 per share, or be made at intervals of less than two months.
Interest allowed on current accounts.
Bills for discount received daily.
To be conducted by a Board of Directors, not to exceed twelve in number, who shall elect, from among themselves,
A Governor and Deputy Governor.
Such Board shall be elected by subscribers duly qualified to vote, at a meeting to be convened for that purpose, after one-half of the shares shall have been allotted by the Trustees.
With power to add to their number.
John O’Shanassy, Esq., M.L.C.
Donald Kennedy, Esq., M.L.C.
William T. Wills, Esq. (Wills, Holden and Co.)
Samuel T. Hooper, Esq. (Newell, Hooper and Stevens.)
T. F. Mann, Esq.
William Kerr, Esq.
Henry S. Chapman, Esq., M.L.C.
James Boyle, Esq.
Gavin G. Brown, Esq. (Brown, Ralston and Co.
William Abercrombie, Esq.
James S. Sibbald, Esq., merchant.
John Musson, Esq.
Bank of Victoria.
Bank of New South Wales.
Henry S. Chapman, Esq.
James Boyle, Esq.
R. S. Anderson, Esq.
Edward Khull, Esq.,
Alex J. Gibb, Esq.
Committee at Geelong,
Acting under the direction of the Provisional Trustees.
Solicitors at Geelong:
Messrs. Garrett and Doyle.
The unprecedented success which has hitherto attended Banking operations in Victoria, evidenced by the periodical reports, clearly proves that there is still a wide, safe, and profitable field for the employment of further capital; while the rapid development of the mineral resources and wealth of the colony, and its increasing population, leave no doubt as to the urgent necessity for the further extension of legitimate banking business.
The principal banking establishments in Victoria have hitherto derived immense profits payable chiefly to a foreign proprietary, though purely resulting from a local trade, carried on with the funds of the colonists themselves. This consideration leads to the conviction that the colonists of Victoria are in a position to enjoy, and ought to receive, whatever advantages can be derived from the employment of their own capital.
The projectors have accordingly decided upon the establishment of a New Bank, to be conducted upon the Scottish principle, on a sound, judicious and liberal system; and which shall be pre-eminently a Bank for the People, under the title of “The Colonial Bank of Australasia.”
With the fullest desire that this Bank should possess all the elements of a National Institution, the projectors have resolved to consolidate the interests of the chief districts of the colony, by forming the principal establishments at Melbourne and Geelong; where, by means of an extensive proprietary, and combined operations, it must command a very large proportion of public support, and secure to its shareholders highly remunerative returns.
It is intended to establish Branches at Ballaarat, Bendigo, Maryborough, Castlemaine, Belfast, Portland, or such other places as shall hereafter appear expedient.
Agencies will be formed in England, Scotland, Ireland, India, and China.
To meet the requirements of the extensive and increasing trade of this colony with America, agencies will be established in the principal cities of “The Union.”
Among the advantages offered to the public by this Bank will be the granting of “cash credits,” according to the custom of Scottish Banks, on approved sureties; also the allowance of interest on “current accounts,” at the rate of 3 per cent. per annum; and upon moneys deposited for fixed periods at the following rates, viz. — For three months, 4 per cent.; six months and upwards, 5 per cent.; or at such rates as the directors may from time to time, determine. Bank post-bills will be granted for fixed deposits, which bills may (in case of need) be presented for discount at current rates.
Shareholders will likewise have the privilege of obtaining advances on the security of their shares to a reasonable amount.
This Bank will also make advances upon bills of lading, bonding warrants, and on all other legitimate securities.
Cash credits will be granted for fixed periods upon gold deposited with the Bank by miners who may be desirous to open accounts for their present requirements, and to avoid an immediate sale.
It will be the object of this Bank to render all possible accommodation and facilities, consistent with its proper functions, to the Merchant, Settler, Storekeeper, Farmer, and Gold-digger.
Special attention will be given to providing facilities for the transmission of small sums (say from £1 and upwards) to any part of the world, with a view to the encouragement of immigration to these colonies.
The Branch Offices will forward weekly statements of accounts to the Chief Office in Melbourne.
The balance-sheet of the bank will be made up every half year, say on the 30th June and 31st December, and forwarded to each proprietor, together with the directors’ report, prior to the half yearly meetings, at which the dividends will be declared.
The shares have been fixed at the moderate sum of £10, with the view of enabling the industrious classes to identify themselves with the monetary interests of the country; and it is proposed to attain an act at the next session of the Legislative Council, to limit the liability of shareholders, and thereby secure to the bank all the legal advantages which are at present enjoyed by similar established colonial institutions.
The trustees are empowered, provisionally, to appoint the necessary officers; to cause the prospectus to be published and circulated; to receive applications for shares; to allot shares; to open banking accounts; to receive and apply the deposit of Two Shillings and Sixpence per share in payment of preliminary expenses; to prepare agreement for execution by subscribers; to receive the further sum of £1 17s. 6d. per share, payable in advance by allottees desirous of qualifying for voting for, or being, directors; and to convene a meeting of qualified subscribers, alter one half of the shares shall have been allotted, for the purpose of enabling such subscribers to elect the first Board of Directors. After the election of the Board of Directors and transfer of balance of account to them, the duties of the trustees shall cease.
The qualification for voting at the election of the first Board or Directors, or of becoming candidates for seats at such board, shall be the payment of the preliminary deposit of two shillings and sixpence per share, and the further sum of one pound seventeen shillings and sixpence per share, and execution of the subscribers’ agreement, before the meeting to be convened by the trustees for the election of such board, of which meeting one calendar month’s notice shall be given in the Government Gazette, and in the principal newspapers published in the colony.
Any duly qualified subscriber for one hundred shares, who shall have given to the Provisional Secretary at least fourteen days’ notice, in writing, of such his intention, shall be eligible as a candidate for a seat at the board, and all qualified subscribers shall be entitled to vote, in proportion to the number of their shares, according to the following scale, viz.:—
For 10 shares, 1 vote
25 shares, 2 votes
50 shares, 3 votes
100 shares, 4 votes
200 shares and upwards, 5 votes
Upon the allotment of shares by the trustees, a deposit of two shillings and sixpence per share shall be paid to them by the allottees, to be applied in defraying the preliminary expenses; but such allottees as shall not qualify to vote as herein-before-mentioned, by the payment of such further sum of one pound, seventeen shillings and sixpence per share, shall not be required to execute the subscribers’ agreement and deed of settlement until after the election of the first board of directors; and should such allottees decline or neglect to pay the said further sum of one pound seventeen shillings and sixpence, and to execute such agreement and deed of settlement after such election and notice given by the directors in the Gazette and Newspapers as aforesaid, then such allottees shall be deemed, and declared to have forfeited the said deposit of two shillings and sixpence per share, and all interest in the said bank, and shall not, at any future time be allowed to execute the said agreement or deed of settlement in respect of such shares, so allotted to them; and all liability of such allottees in respect of such shares, shall thereupon cease, and such shares may be re-allotted to other applicants.
A considerable number of shares having been already applied for, it is proposed that only three-fourths of the stock shall be now issued, after which the Board of Directors will offer to the shareholders the remainder of the stock, according to the number of the shares held by them, and if not accepted by a given day such stock will then be offered to the public at a premium, and the same course will be adopted in the event of an increase of capital, should that be deemed desirable for the purpose of extending the operations of the bank.
Applications for shares to be made in the following form, and addressed to the trustees, at the temporary offices, No. 40 Collins-street west, Melbourne, and Corio-terrace, Geelong.
FORM OF APPLICATION:
To the Trustees of the Colonial Bank of Australasia.
Gentlemen,—I request you will allot me shares in the above Bank, and I hereby agree to accept that, or any less number which may be allotted to me, upon the terms mentioned in the published prospectus.
Name of Applicant
Profession or Business,
Number of Shares,
The Argus, (Melbourne, Vic.), 1 August 1855, p. 8, column 5
Also published in:
The Age (Melbourne, Vic.), 2 August 1855, p. 2, column 2
The Melbourne Monthly Magazine of Original Colonial Literature (Melbourne, Vic.), Supplement to Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, 1855, pp. 3-5
The printing of this prospectus was foreshadowed by an advertisement in The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.), 30 July 1855, p. 3, column 6
Council = the Legislative Council (the upper house of parliament in the various colonies and states of Australia)
d. = a reference to a penny, or pennies (pence); the “d” was an abbreviation of “denarii”, e.g. as used in “L.S.D.” or “£sd” (pounds, shillings, and pence), which refers to coins used by the Romans, as per the Latin words “librae” (or “libra”), “solidi” (singular “solidus”), and “denarii” (singular “denarius”)
Esq. = (abbreviation) esquire (a formal but unofficial title of respect, usually abbreviated as “Esq.” and placed after a man’s surname); a squire (a landed proprietor); a member of the English gentry who ranks below a knight
Messrs. = an abbreviation of “messieurs” (French), being the plural of “monsieur”; used in English as the plural of “Mister” (which is abbreviated as “Mr.”); the title is used in English prior to the names of two or more men (often used regarding a company, e.g. “the firm of Messrs. Bagot, Shakes, & Lewis”, “the firm of Messrs. Hogue, Davidson, & Co.”)
M.L.C. = (abbreviation) Member of the Legislative Council
No. = an abbreviation of “Number”
per annum = (Latin) per year; in each year, for each year (in financial terms, an amount that is earned, paid, received, sold, spent, or used each year)
per cent. = an abbreviation of “per centum” (Latin, meaning “by a hundred”), i.e. an amount, number, or ratio expressed as a fraction of 100; also rendered as “per cent” (without a full stop), “percent”, “pct”, “pc”, “p/c”, or “%” (per cent sign)
s. = a reference to a shilling, or shillings; the “s” was an abbreviation of “solidi”, e.g. as used in “L.S.D.” or “£sd” (pounds, shillings, and pence), which refers to coins used by the Romans, as per the Latin words “librae” (or “libra”), “solidi” (singular “solidus”), and “denarii” (singular “denarius”)
sterling = the British pound, also known as the pound sterling (plural: pounds sterling)
See: “Pound sterling”, Wikipedia
Union = the United States of America; in the context of the American Civil War (1861-1865), the Northern States were known as the Union (the United States of America), in contradistinction to the Southern States, which were known as the South or the Confederacy (the Confederate States of America)
See: “Union (American Civil War)”, Wikipedia
viz. = (Latin) an abbreviation of “videlicet” (a contraction of the Latin phrase “videre licet”), meaning “it is permitted to see” (the “z” derives from the z-shaped Latin shorthand symbol for “et”, as used in the Tironian shorthand style); in actual practice, “viz.” is used as a synonym for “in other words”, “namely”, “that is to say”, “to wit”, or “which is” (used when giving further details about something, or giving a list of specific examples or items)
[Editor: Changed “Inland” to “Ireland”; “1 17s. 6d per share” to “1 17s. 6d. per share” (inserted a period or full stop); “one calender” to “one calendar”; “scale, viz:” to “scale, viz.:” (inserted a period or full stop); “may be se-allotted” to “may be re-allotted”.]
[Editor: The original text has been separated into paragraphs.]
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