Banks- local branch
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This page contains content from police and those who supported authority.
At a time when most financial transactions involved the payment of cash or gold the local banks played an important role in the local community. They held large amounts of cash and had large strong rooms. .
Towns with banks
People from banks
The local Bank's place in the KellyGang story
The role of the local bank
The local bank branches were an important part of the local community. They took in the wealth of the squatters and looked after the gold that was treated by many as 'good money'. They cashed the wages cheques for the shearers and others, or more properly cashed them for the shanties and pubs and other places were the workers used them to 'clear the slate'; to pay off the things they had bought on credit. See the towns with banks and the people involved.
The banks were really the only source of 'real money' when people wanted to finance their businesses and the local bank manager was therefore seen as the main source of financial advice. If you could satisfy the local bank manager that the new shop or sawmill etc was a reasonable investment for the bank to give a loan, most people were prepared to accept the project without question.
Of course many people saw the banks as looking after the interests of those with money. The bank manger was usually a member of the local church parish council or other local body and their families dined with the other local leaders. There is a report of a Benalla bank manger who could not see a future for a near by inn that wanted to up grade its rooms because people with money would be invited to stay with the local squatters and, 'use other home accommodation with respectable people.'
Banks in the story of the
The Euroa robbery gives a good in site into local banks. It was staffed on that December afternoon by 2 tellers and Mr Scott, the bank manager. The KellyGang were able to get away with about £1,9000 in notes and £300 in gold. A large sum of money. Remember this was long before the time of the plastic credit card and local banks had to hold money for all the community needs such as wages and the payment of most local accounts. Large amounts were however paid by cheque, but they often had to be cashed.
Gold was an important part of the currency as well as something that was mined. The value of the currency was tied to the value of gold. This meant that gold could be used to pay accounts and the banks were approved as gold dealers.
Mr Scott had a household that consisted of 2 maids and a groom who looked after his horses and trap which he used to travel around to visit his clients.
While many of the bank names of this story are familiar, the National Bank in Euroa and the Bank of New South Wales (Westpac) in Jerilderie; many of other names disappeared at the time of the depression of the 1890s
Protecting the banks
Captain Standish consulted Hare. The Seymour bank was specially mentioned as likely to be stuck up. Sup Hare issued orders to the police to protect the banks on 26/11/1878. On the 30/11/878 Sup Hare informed Sergeant Purcell, at Seymour, that the KellyGang contemplated sticking up one of the Seymour banks, and that three men would be sent up there for duty, and that I wished their duty to be kept quiet. Additional police were also sent to Avenel. (RC1243)
The activity of the KellyGang led to a shotage of note and coin in the country as the banks sought to protect it in the big city banks (Argus6/3/79)
At every bank in the small towns two or three constables were placed on guard; there were three detectives sent up, the best men they could find, and search parties were started from time to time. (RC2025)