The bank started in 1933 as the Rural Bank of NSW, which was a bank that primarily lent to & dealt with farmers. In 1982 the bank's name was changed to the State Bank of NSW & so was its mandate, to that of a standard commercial bank, although it had been operating in this way for some years.
The Bank was 'corporatised' in 1990, under the State Owned Corporations Act 1989 (NSW) and the State Bank (Corporatisation) Act 1989 (NSW). On 14 May 1990 the existing State Bank was dissolved, and all of its assets and business undertaking were vested in an incorporated State Bank, limited by shares.
In 1994 the bank was sold to Colonial, a financial services company. The bank changed its name to Colonial State Bank in 1996. In 2000 it too was taken over, this time by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.