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The Bank of Van Diemen’s Land, 3rd August 1891

The Bank of Van Diemen’s Land, 3rd August 1891

The Bank of Van Diemen's Land (nicknamed 'the old bank') was Tasmania's first commercial financial institution. A charter was granted by Sir Thomas Brisbane and capital was divided into shares worth 200 dollars each. Founded in 1823 prior to the use of the name Tasmania, it lasted for 68 years before becoming the first major bank failure of the 1890s depression in Australia. Although it had a reputation for reliability, during the 1880s the bank lent heavily to Tasmanians who invested heavily in silver mining ventures. When the mineral prices crashed in the 1890s the bank was unable to survive the number of defaulting loans. The bank closed in August 1891, and offered up its banking premises as a £1 lottery ticket. Following the bank's demise, a Royal Commission was established to investigate allegations of fraudulent activities. The headquarters of the bank stood on the corner of Collins and Elizabeth Streets in Hobart until 1958 when it was demolished. The lions that stood over the original doorway are now located at the entrance to St David's Park. The photograph was taken on the day of closure, 3rd August 1891.

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The Bank of Van Diemen's Land (nicknamed

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