Ferrari Estates Building, Former Bank of North Queensland, Cooktown

News of the day

Queensland Figaro and Punch, Saturday 11 February 1888, page 16

New Bank for North Queensland.

In my business columns appears, the prospectus of a new banking company intended to specially address itself to the interests of North Queensland, and to be styled the Bank of North Queensland, Limited. This financial institution, which may fairly be regarded as already established, had its origin in a meeting held the other day in Sydney at a time when the centennial festivities had brought together many of the representative men of all parts of Australasia. The capital will be £l,000,000, in 100,000 shares of £10 each. The first issue of shares is limited to £50,000 shares, or half the total share capital. It is intended to immediately call up £3 10s. per share — say, 10s. per share to accompany application, 10s. per share on allotment, and the balance in instalments of 10s. per share at intervals of two months between each instalment. The headquarters of the bank will be at Townsville, but branches will be opened wherever business offers. The permanent directorate will be limited to five members, two of whom will retire annually. Half the present issue of shares has been reserved for Queensland, the other moiety to be equally allotted between New South Wales and Victoria. The maximum allotment to be made to any individual is 3,000 shares; the minimum 5 shares. The share list opened on the 7th, and will close on the 21st inst. Discretion is reserved for further issue of shares as may be deemed advisable. The Bank of North Queensland, Limited, will be incorporated under the Companies Act of 1863. I refer my readers to my business column for the names of the provisional directors at Townsville, Cooktown, Charters Towers, Mackay,  Rockhampton, Brisbane, Georgetown, Cairns, Sydney, and Melbourne, and these names will be found satisfactory. The Brisbane brokers are Davis & Rees and W. H. Snelling.


Established in Townsville in July 1888, the Bank of North Queensland, was one of only three 19th century indigenous Queensland banks, the other two being the Queensland National Bank, established 1872, and the Royal Bank of Queensland, established 1885. Actively supported by Robert Philp, politician, businessman and separationist, formation of the Bank of North Queensland was allied closely to the separation movement, and promoted as a source of North Queensland development capital free from southern [QNB] influences. Within 6 months, the new bank had established 7 branches, including Cooktown, which opened on 1 September 1888. The Brisbane branch was opened in November 1888, and the bank's headquarters transferred there from Townsville in 1894. Several of the smaller North Queensland branches closed during the 1890s, but by 1900 additional branches had been established at Childers, Mareeba, Mount Morgan, Thornborough and Thursday Island, reflecting the shifting fortunes of North Queensland industries [mining, pastoralism, and the bêche-de-mer trade].

Courtesy of the Queensland Heritage Register


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