State Bank of Victoria

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State Bank of Victoria logo, scanned from a letter dated January 1987

The State Bank of Victoria was a bank that existed from 1842 until 1990 when it was taken over by the Commonwealth Bank.[1] It was owned by the State of Victoria.

A government-controlled savings bank had been founded on 1 January 1842 as the Savings Bank of Port Philip. The independent Savings Banks merged over time and this development was recognised by legislation in 1912, whereupon the bank was established as the State Savings Bank of Victoria. In 1980 its name was changed to the State Bank until its sale and subsequent dissolution in 1990.

The bank collapsed due to the weight of the bad loans made in the 1980s, in particular by its merchant banking arm Tricontinental, after deregulation of the banking industry in the mid-1980s by the Hawke ALP government. Tricontinental eventually collapsed, which threatened the existence of the State Bank and forced its sale to the Commonwealth Bank.[2]

These events were a key factor in the defeat of the Labor government of Joan Kirner and the election of the Liberal Party, led by Jeff Kennett, at the 1992 Victorian state election.

A website detailing employee related issue provides additional historical detail.


  1. ^ "Canberra buys State Bank of Victoria". New Straits Times. 27 August 1990. 
  2. ^ Hugo Armstrong (1992), 'The Tricontinental Affair,' in Mark Considine and Brian Costar (eds.), Trials in Power. Cain, Kirner and Victoria 1982-1992, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, Ch.3

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