COMMONWEALTH BANK: BANKING WHETHER COMMONWEALTH BANK HAS POWER TO UNDERTAKE INSCRIPTION OF STOCK IN LONDON FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT: WHETHER INSCRIPTION OF STOCK IS PART OF GENERAL BUSINESS OF BANKING
COMMONWEALTH BANK ACT 1911, s. 7
The Governor of the Commonwealth Bank desires advice on the matter set forth in the following memorandum:
Arrangements have been made for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia to undertake the inscription of stock and the Public Debt Work of the Commonwealth Government in various States with the exception of Victoria and of the South Australian Government in London. In considering the latter arrangement, the officers of the South Australian Crown Law Department state that they consider that the Commonwealth Bank Act is not clear as to whether the Commonwealth Bank of Australia can undertake such work, and to put the matter beyond doubt the ruling of the Honourable the Attorney-General on the point is desired as to whether this comes within the scope of section 7 (a) and (i) of the Commonwealth Bank Act (which empowers the Bank to carry on the general business of banking, and to do anything incidental to any of its powers) or within any other section of the Act.
Section 7 of the Commonwealth Bank Act 1911 confers on the Bank (inter alia) power to carry on the general business of banking and to do anything incidental to that power.
The inscription of stock whether governmental, municipal, or trading, is a function commonly carried out by a bank at the present time, and is, I think, now considered as part of the general business of banking.
In my opinion, the Commonwealth Bank has power under the Commonwealth Bank Act to undertake the inscription of stock in London for the South Australian Government.
With regard to the 'Public Debt Work', I am not clear as to what is meant by that expression, and before advising as to the powers of the Commonwealth Bank in that respect, I should be glad to know what the Governor intended that expression to include.
[Vol. 14, p. 229]
- This opinion is unsigned in the Opinion Book, but it is attributed to Mr Hughes.