In this paper an attempt will be made to trace changes in the liquid assets structures of the major trading banks over the post-war period. For reasons enumerated below, it is necessary to consider the various asset-structure policies (appertaining to both liquid assets and advances) of these banks individually, or at least in two groups, for there are radical differences in the respective policies of the individual banks. As the degree of liquidity an individual bank maintains is determined by many factors, both internally and externally, a discussion of these factors is unavoidable. It will thus be necessary to enquire into such relationships as the effect of monetary policy on each bank's liquiditypo1ioy, the effect of substantial increases or decreases in the level of Australia's international currency reserves, or substantial changes in the Commonwealth Government's debt policy, on the policies of all the relevant banks. It will also be necessary, on the other hand, to determine some of the probable effects that changes in bank liquidity policies have on other sectors of the Australian economy.
The banks on which the discussion will be based are: The Commonwealth Bank of Australia - 'General Banking Division (from 1953, the Commonwealth Trading Bank of Australia), The Bank of Australasia and the Union Bank of Australia (amalgamated in 1951 as the Australia and New Zealand Bank), the Bank of Adelaide, the Bank of New South Wales, the Commercial Bank of Australia, the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney, the English, Scottish and Australian Bank, and the National Bank of Australasia (which absorbed the Queensland National Bank in 1947).The 'minor' cheque-paying banks will be ignored throughout the discussion. ..................