Businesses 4 facts about Australia’s largest bank, the Commonwealth Bank...

4 facts about Australia’s largest bank, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia


The Commonwealth Bank of Australia is Australia’s largest commercial bank based on assets, market capitalisation and deposits. It has been in operation for over a century (since 1911) and is headquartered in Sydney. The bank offers a comprehensive range of services across both Australia and New Zealand, with over 1100 branches. Here are some obvious and more obscure facts about Australia’s most well-known banking enterprise.

Fact 1: They use a lot of celebrities for marketing

Glenn McGrath
Glenn McGrath

In 2014, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia hired M&C Saatchi and Ikon Communications to develop a comprehensive campaign celebrating their school banking history. The advertising campaign used a range of well-known Australian celebrities, including one of Australia’s most adored sporting icons, Glenn McGrath.

Fact 2: The Royal Commission hit them hard

The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry indicated that the Commonwealth Bank of Australia had a negative culture. However, there have been other controversies attached to Australia’s largest bank, including a 2008 financial planning scandal and a 2016 Ponzi scheme controversy.

Fact 3: They were privatised in the 1990s

Between 1991 and 1996, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia was privatised by the Australian Government. The first share offer was valued at $1.292 million, the second in 1993 and the third in 1996. While they are a public company, they are one of the only companies not to have “Limited” at the end.

Fact 4: David Murray is the longest-reigning CEO

David Murray was the CEO of the bank between 1992 and 2005. As the longest-reigning CEO, his role was to oversee the transition of the bank into a privatised enterprise. During his tenure, the bank’s market capitalisation increased massively from $6 billion to $49 billion. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2007 for his efforts.

Henry Kentish
Henry Kentish
Henry Kentish is a national business reporter. Before coming to Quilter, Henry was the lead reporter on Business for SM in Melbourne. He reported on the national economy for Bloomberg News and BusinessWeek. He also spent a year in the US covering Australian business and politics issues.

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