Australian banking crisis of 1893

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The 1893 banking crisis occurred in Australia when several of the commercial banks of the colonies within Australia collapsed.

During the 1880s there was a speculative boom in the Australian property market. Australian banks were operating in a free banking system, in addition to few legal restrictions on the operation of banks, there was no central bank and no government-provided deposit guarantees. The commercial banks lent heavily, but following the asset price collapse of 1888, companies that had borrowed money started to declare bankruptcy. The full banking crisis became apparent when the Federal Bank failed on 30 January 1893. By 17 May, 11 commercial banks in Sydney, Melbourne and other locations across the country had suspended trading.

See also


  • Hickson, C. R. and Turner, J. D. 2002. Free banking gone awry: the Australian banking crisis of 1893. Financial History Review 9:147–167