The OBAA provides the means whereby overseas bank representatives may meet together on a social basis to maintain personal and business contacts; and to enhance relations between overseas bank representatives and the resident Australian banking, commercial and government organisations.
The Association is a non-profit and non-political association.
The first meeting of the Overseas Bankers Association of Australia (OBAA) was held on 27 August 1984 at the Imperial Services Club in Sydney. 52 representatives of the 101 foreign banks operating in Sydney at the time attended the meeting.
A Steering Committee was established and at the end of January 1985 a letter was sent to all foreign banks represented in Australia advising that a general meeting would be held on 20 February 1985 to approve the constitution and elect the office bearers. 72 representatives from 61 foreign banks attended the meeting.
The first meeting of the new Committee was held on 18 April 1985. A letter from the Federal Treasurer, Paul Keating, was read welcoming the formation of the OBAA and giving the Government’s official recognition. The Governor General, Sir Ninian Stephen, also conveyed best wishes for the success of the Association.
The guest of honour and speaker at the Foundation Luncheon was Sir Bede Callaghan, former Managing Director of the Commonwealth Bank and at the time the Chairman of the Foreign Investment Review Board. Guests from the Reserve Bank, Australian Bankers Association and Australia Merchant Bankers Association were also invited to attend. 97 members and guests attended the foundation luncheon.
THE OBAA TODAY
The OBAA continues to thrive with a number of banks enjoying membership of the Association.
The OBAA is managed by a Committee comprised of a diverse group of bankers from both foreign and domestic banks. The Association conducts functions on an annual basis for the benefit of its members and these range from cultural nights and thought leadership lunches to golf days and ‘young banker’ networking events. Membership is at the institutional level which enables all staff of a member institution to attend functions at the ‘member’ rate.
As a mature association, we look at the role foreign banks have had in the development of Australia, the economy and the thousands of individual Australians who have worked for and learned their skills from foreign banks. We also look to the involvement that foreign banks will have in the future development of the Australian economy.
The OBAA recognises the work done by long standing members of the foreign bank community, awarding our first Life Membership in 2008. Currently, there are eight Life Members of the OBAA.
In 2020, in keeping with the continuing development of the Association, we recognised the 35th anniversary of its establishment.