Officers Club Inc.
representing Officers and families of
The Commercial Banking Company of Sydney Limited
and its subsidiaries & affiliates.
 

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Banks of Yesteryear


 

Societe Generale,
350 George Street

 




2017

Now offices.
2017 Visitors can view the lightwell/stairwell in the foyer.
 

Cnr George and Hunter Sts

 



2017

Previously St George Bank;
American Express

2017 convenience store
National Bank of Australasia Limited,
State Office
348 Geroge Street


Now various shops and offices.
Vault
Cnr Pitt St and Rowe St



2017

The old Bankers' Club was in Rowe Street

2017 Vault now 1821 wine bar
Bank of New South Wales Limited,
228 Pitt Street





2015
2015 currently Allens Music store.  Photos by John Ness

Although built over, the skylight was protected.

Bank of NSW

377 George Street



2017

2017 now McDonalds
Interior as McDonalds.  Photos by John Ness
Bank of Australasia Limited


Cnr George Street & Martin Place






2015

Was St. George Building Society,

GIO,

2015 Now Paspaley pearls.  Photos by John Ness
Bank of New Zealand
339 George Street




2016


Demolished to make way for offices with wine bar at street level.

2016 November Soon to become nab 333 George Street, Sydney

 

CBA
Cnr Martin Ploaza & Pitt St


This is the building featured on the famous Commonwealth Bank tin money box.

The Sydney Magazine article:
Is this the safest spot in Sydney? Dugald Jellie opens the vault on the city's secrets.

Photography Tamara Dean

It's a safe-cracker's worst nightmare. Bank-heist men wouldn't stand a chance against this circular vault door, a 27-tonne steel plug blocking off a stronghold of untold riches and private documents. Gold bars. Diamond jewellery. Banknotes. Confidential papers ...

The safe deposit vault in the basement of the Commonwealth Bank's national head office in Martin Place adds extra fortification to the word "safekeeping". The vault door, which swings open at 8.20am and closes at 4.15pm each working day, is the world's second largest 64 centimetres thick, 2.2 metres in diameter and with a retractable floor and 24 bolts that lock away the confidential affairs stowed in the 12,985 steel boxes within.

It's a time-honoured banking tradition to hire out safe depositories and turn a blind eye to how they're used. "We're not aware of what's in the boxes; we don't check what's in them," says Michael Paul, the bank's safe deposit officer and keeper of the keys required to assist in opening each shoebox-size safe. Dressed in black, he has the mien of an undertaker or doorman at a members-only gathering. "Customers have utmost privacy in the room. Unless I'm walking in with another customer and they have their valuables on the table, I never see what's in the box."

The bank the former Government Savings Bank of NSW opened in 1928 to great fanfare. Here was the future of banking: a beaux-arts revivalist colossus of fluted columns, polished marble and brass railings, and with a bank-vault door like few others entombed among barrel domes and decorative ceilings in the lower basement.

Made in London by Chubb & Sons, the English lock and safe company, the door is eclipsed in size only by a 42-tonne plug in Ohio, at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. This one arrived in Sydney after being exhibited at the 1927 Wembley Exhibition as an engineering marvel; cast from slabs of ferrous-based metals with four time-delay locks and considered near impervious to a safe-breaker's drills and blow torches or dynamite. From the docks, it was hauled on wagons drawn by teams of 18 draught horses.

The vault is now open to customers who hire private safes (rental rates start at $100 per annum, plus fees) and present an authorised access slip to the attendant standing watch behind a locked wrought-iron grille. "It's my job to serve them as quickly and as quietly as possible," says Paul.

It's a room of flat fluorescent light, where discretion is assured among rows of polished steel cabinets, all criss-crossed with rows of little locked boxes, each with two keyholes and identified by four digits. "Boxes can only be opened by turning the guardian key and the customer key at the same time," says Paul. "I turn my master key anti-clockwise, they turn theirs clockwise."

But fine print on the bank's terms and conditions stipulates that deposit safes can also be opened if authorised by law or by the bank on the termination of the hiring agreement. The bank asks no questions about what's in a box but nor does it hold liability for any loss or damage of their unknown contents.

More than 315,000 tin-plated moneybox replicas of the building with penny slots in the roof were given to newborns in 1929, as a sales ploy to "assist parents and guardians to teach the children of Australia that essential lesson, Thrift". The tins remain the nation's most recognised moneybox, although they give no indication of what lies beneath.

Union Bank
244 King Street, Newtown

 


2015

2015 June For Sale
Union Bank, Orange

 


2015

2015 the 1854 Building is now Belgravia with Union Bank Bar beside it.
CBA Centre,
George Street


2017
CBA Centre

2017 now Met Centre. Photos by John Ness

 

Last modified: 17/12/2017 10:49


 















 

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