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The New Zealand Journal, Saturday, February 8 (1840)

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Report of the Union Bank of Australia.

A special general meeting of tbe proprietors of the Union Bank of Australia, was held at the offices of the company in Old Broad-street, on Monday last, when the following supplementary report of the directors was presented. It will be seen that the affairs of the company are in a prosperous state.
"The First Annual Report of this bank, presented in the month of June last, concluded with the following paragraph:— The Directors have sent out orders for the accounts of the several Branch Banks to be balanced half-yearly, so as to enable them to declare dividends at Christmas and Midsummer; the returns to these orders have not yet been re-ceived, except from the Launceston Branch. The Directors are not, therefore, in a position to lay before the proprietors, at present, such a statement of accounts as would warrant them in declaring a dividend; but they propose to call a special meeting for that purpose.'
"Complete returns having been received from all the branches, down to the 30th June last, the Directors now find themselves enabled to re-deem their pledge.
"They consider, however, that the present Special Meeting affords them a suitable opportunity of expressing their entire satisfaction at the progress which the Bank has made. Their anticipations have been more than realized; and it has been peculiarly gratifying to them to observe, that all the negociations and arrangements entered into, both in the union with the Tamar Bank at Launceston, and the establishment of branch banks at Sydney, Hobart Town, Port Philip, and Campbell Town, have been characterised by a good feeling, and a cordial and zealous cooperation for the bank's interest, which have given the fullest effect to the wishes and intentions of the Board, and reflect great credit upon the judgment and discretion of the gentlemen who have undertaken the important office of Local Directors, and of the Inspector, J. G. M'Laren, Esq.
"Under such favourable circumstances, it is not too much to expect that a system of banking, matured and eminently successful at home. should steadily advance, at all the branches of the 'Union Bank of Australia,' to a very high degree of prosperity.
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"Of the 5635 shares, stated in the Report to have been applied for in the colonies, 5502 have been taken and paid for at the respective branches. 7000 were then stated to have been reserved for the colonies; the remaining 1498 have, consequently, been returned to this country, and a distribution made, on the principle before adopted, amongst the proprietors at home, of one in ten, the nearest proportion at which the Directors could arrive: 293 shares, being the indivisible overplus, have been sold for the benefit of the Company; no part of the premium on which is brought into the present account of profit. The entire 20,000 shares, formiug the capital of the bank, are now appropriated.
"The Directors will not further anticipate the more detailed Report which it will be their duty to present at the next Annual Meeting, but proceed to submit a statement of the Bank's affairs, only premising that these accounts exhibit the working of the branches for the six months ending 30th June, and of the London Office for the year ending 31st December, 1839. This has been determined upon, in order to afford to the large body of Colonial Proprietors the latest possible information as to the state of their affairs, and that all Dividends should be regulated by the actual amount of the Bank's profits, as they stand in London, at the period of making the same.
Total Assets to 31st December, 1839 £295,420 12 8
Deduct
Profit to 31st Dec. 1838, as per last Report £4711 17 0
Current expenses 1851 6 5
⅓rd preliminary do., total being..£1693 17 4 561 12 5 7127 9 10
£288,293 2 10
Paid up Capital in London, £198,595 0 0
Ditto in the Colonies 70,335 0 0 £268,930 0 0
Net profit to 31st December, 1839 £19,363 2 10
"The result of this account enables tne Directors to declare a Dividend for the half year, ending 31st December last, of fourteen shillings per share on all the shares of this Bank, on those held at home on the 10th instant, and in the Colonies as soon as can be arranged by the Inspector, after the receipt of advices.
"The Deed of Settlement provides that one-tenth part of the total profits should be appropriated as a reserve fund, until the same amount to £200,000, as follows:—
Nett profit to 31st Dec.
1838, as above £4,711 17 0
Do. to 31st Dec. 1839 19,363 2 10 £24,074 19 10
Deduct
One-tenth for the reserve fund £2,407 10 0
Undivided profit to 31st Dec. 1839 £21,667 9 10
Out of which the half year's Dividend now declared, amount £14,000, Will be paid."
It thus appears that after setting apart a sum of 2,407l 10s as a reserve fund to meet all contingencies, and paying the declared dividend of 14,000l, there will still remain a nett balance of 7,667l to swell the surplus of the coming half year,—a surplus which will be doubtless much augmented, when the New Zealand branch shall have come into operation.

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