Public bank set up by government regulation in 1819 to encourage saving by 'the industrious poor' and convicts who often bought small sums with them when transported. Overseen by the Governor, one of the founders was the merchant Robert Campbell, senior, who operated the Sydney branch from his offices on lower George Street in Circular Quay, and it was often referred to as 'Campbell's Bank'. Three other branches were established at the same time, one at Parramatta, run by Hannibal Macarthur, another at Windsor, run by William Cox, junior, and one at Liverpool, run by Thomas Moore, but these had closed by the early 1820s.
Following the Bigge's report in 1822, convicts were compelled to deposit any funds they had in the bank until 'their condition was improved by their good behaviour, testified by their masters’. In 1832 these deposits were transferred to the Savings Bank of New South Wales that was formed to take over 'Campbell's bank'.