Culture and heritage


NSW Coat of Arms, c1936

Made by Wunderlich & Co of Redfern

The Rural Bank was established in 1921 as a department of the Government Savings Bank of New South Wales. The primary object of the Bank was to provide greater financial assistance to primary producers than was usually obtainable from other institutions, and thus to promote rural settlement and development. Some of the bank's functions were transferred to the Commonwealth Bank in 1931, and in 1933 the bank was reconstituted as the Rural Bank of NSW.

Until 1947, the business of the Rural Bank was conducted in three departments: Rural Bank Department, Advances for Homes Department, and (from July 1944) the Personal Loans Department. In December 1947, the Bank was reconstituted again and the three departments were merged into a single General Bank Department which was empowered to conduct general banking business without restriction as to lending. In 1981 it became the State Bank (Concise Guide) and stopped displaying the NSW Coat of Arms.

The NSW Coat of Arms was displayed by the Bank, rather then used to convey official authority, although the government ownership of the bank was clearly meant to be implied. The use of Azure Celeste (or sky blue) in the Arms by the bank may have been to distinguish it from the coats of arms used by NSW government agencies, although this is by no means certain.

Some questions for research:

  1. Are there other examples of NSW government trading entities from the period that used the NSW Coat of Arms in some form?
  2. Was the use of Azure Celeste as the shade of blue in the Arms by the bank a form of heraldic 'differencing'?


Image source: Bruce Baskerville, Heritage Branch, 3rd April 2005


Page last updated: 01 September 2012