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The success of the Bank of New South Wales prompted a group of Sydney merchants to establish the Bank of Australia in 1826. A financial downturn, caused by a slump in pastoral conditions, made the bank insolvent in 1843, finally going out of business in 1851. As no prospective buyer could be found, the bank's remaining property was disposed of by lottery.

Known locally as the 'New Bank', the company was the victim of the first recorded bank robbery in Australia when £13,000 was stolen in 1828. Close financial ties with the Sydney Banking Company led to that bank's failure in 1843.

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