25 NOVEMBER 1932, Page 36


Once again I am able to congratulate the Directors of the English, Scottish and Australian Bank upon the report and balance-sheet issued after another year of crisis in Australia. There has, of course, been a material reduction in profit, as in the case of the other Australian banks, but there has also been a further reduction in expenses, and while the dividend has been reduced from 8 to 5 per cent. it is clear that, but for the sound and cautious policy adopted, a higher dividend could have been paid, the Directors preferring to carry forward the very large balance of £275,000. Moreover, in addition to strong inner reserves possessed by the Bank over many years, there may be said now to exist a further inner reserve in the shape of the special reserves covering depreciation in Australian currency. In the best quarters this depreciation is regarded as temporary, and when normal conditions return these special reserves should prove an important source of additional strength. The balance-sheet shows a moderate increase in Deposits, and the general liquidity of the balance-sheet, as well as the large carry forward, is such as to give shareholders confidence with regard to the future.