Reserve Bank of Australia Annual Report – 1981 Calendar of Official Actions

(Announcement dates are used in most cases)


30 June

The trade-weighted index of the value of the Australian dollar was 85.0 (May 1970 = 100). Values of the index at the end of each month in 1980/81 are shown below:

July 85.5 January 87.5
August 85.8 February 88.2
September 85.8 March 88.8
October 86.2 April 89.5
November 86.8 May 90.8
December 87.1 June 92.9

7 July

Two new tap stocks of Commonwealth Government securities were introduced. A further nine were introduced during 1980/81. Some details are provided below:

Date of
Date of
(% p.a.)
(% p.a.)
7 July 4 Nov 82 11.5 11.57 5 Aug 80
7 July 5 June 90 11.7 11.80 10 Dec 80
21 Aug 6 Feb 83 11.4 11.54 6 Feb 81
21 Aug 7 Nov 84 11.5 11.71 7 Nov 80
14 Nov 8 May 82 11.5 12.45 21 Nov 80
26 Nov 9 Sept 82 11.5 12.44 6 Mar 81
18 Dec 10 Dec 87 12.0 12.64 9 June 81
9 Feb 11 May 83 12.5 13.10 8 May 81
9 Mar 12 July 84 12.5 13.10 9 July 81
11 May 13 April 83 12.5 13.10  
10 June 14 May 88 12.5 13.10  

21 July

A new series of Australian Savings Bonds, Series 17, was issued. A further two series were introduced during the year. Some details are provided below:

Date of
Date of
(% p.a.)
21 July 17 1 Apr 88 10.25 2 Dec 80
8 Dec 18 1 Aug 88 11.50 23 Mar 81
24 Mar 19 1 Dec 88 12.25  

6 August

The rate of interest applying to the Income Equalisation Deposit Scheme for primary producers, which had remained unchanged since the scheme was introduced in 1976, was increased from 5 to 7 per cent.

19 August

The Commonwealth Government's Budget for 1980/81 was presented. Estimates of the major aggregates were:

  • outlays of $36,037 million (13.7 per cent higher than in 1979/80);
  • receipts of $34,471 million (16.7 per cent higher than in 1979/80);
  • a total deficit of $1,566 million with a domestic surplus of $39 million (the realised deficits in 1979/80 were $2,034 million and $567 million, respectively).

28 August

The interim report of the Committee of Inquiry into the Australian Financial System was tabled in Federal Parliament.

5 September

The Loan Council approved the introduction of an additional step in interest rates on the scale of maximum borrowing rates for local and semi-government authorities. The new step was created by reducing the maximum rate for borrowings of four years to less than seven years by 0.1 of a percentage point to 12.0 per cent for public issues and 12.3 per cent for private placements.

18 September

The Commonwealth completed arrangements with Deutsche Bank for a DM200 million (approximately $96 million) private placement on the German capital market. The purpose of this borrowing was to re-finance a Commonwealth loan of DM200 million due to mature on 1 October.

2 December

It was announced that, effective 3 December:

  • The maximum interest rate charged by trading banks on overdrafts with limits of less than $100,000 would be raised from 10.5 per cent per annum to 12.5 per cent per annum. Comparable increases would apply to interest rates on term and farm development loans of less than $100,000.
  • An understanding had been reached with the banks that the interest rate increases would not apply to those adversely affected by the drought in drought-declared areas for the duration of the drought.
  • The maximum rate on personal instalment loans would be increased from 7.75 per cent per annum (flat) to 8.75 per cent per annum (flat).
  • The maximum rate of interest charged by savings banks on loans of less than $100,000, other than loans for owner-occupied housing, would be increased from 10.5 per cent per annum to 12.5 per cent per annum.
  • The maximum rate charged by savings banks on loans for owner-occupied housing would be increased from 10.5 per cent per annum to 11.5 per cent per annum.
  • Within these ceilings, each bank would determine the rates to be applied to its loans.
  • The ceilings on interest rates offered by trading and savings banks on deposits would be removed.

18 December

Effective 6 January, the Bank raised the Statutory Reserve Deposit ratio of the major trading banks from 6.0 per cent to 7.0 per cent. This action was taken against the growth in bank liquidity in the early months of 1980/81. It supported a request to banks for continued restraint in their lending, in line with the intention for monetary policy to moderate growth in money and credit.


28 January

The Treasurer announced that the Government, having concluded its review of the Banking (Savings Banks) Regulations, had decided to defer any significant change until the Government has had the opportunity to consider the final report and recommendations of the Committee of Inquiry into the Australian Financial System.

5 February

The Governor-General granted the Australian Bank Limited unconditional authority to carry on banking business in Australia.

28 May

Negotiations were completed for a loan of Y20,000 million (approximately $78 million). The loan, for a term of 12 years, carried a coupon of 8.5 per cent per annum.

15 June

The Treasurer gave his consent, under Section 63 of the Banking Act, for the amalgamations proposed between the Bank of New South Wales and The Commercial Bank of Australia Limited, and between The National Bank of Australasia Limited and The Commercial Banking Company of Sydney Limited.

19 June

The Loan Council agreed to State Government programmes for 1981/82 of $1,307.25 million (the same as in 1980/81) and to a borrowing programme for the States' larger authorities of $2,098.3 million (an increase of 11.2 per cent on 1980/81). The latter figure included borrowings of $806.7 million to finance infrastructure.