Reserve to sell up

THE Reserve Bank of Australia will sell its building in St Georges Terrace, Perth.

The bank is selling out of WA and Queensland due to the centralisation of its operations.

Its Hobart building has just been sold.

A bank spokesman told Business News the A-grade building at 45 St Georges Terrace was no longer required, particularly since the bank lost the WA Government as a major client.

Industry sources value the building at about $25 million, although it will be the first time the building has been offered for sale.

The spokesman said the Perth and Brisbane buildings would be put on the market after the Olympics Games.

The bank has only three employees in its Perth building who take up 25 per cent of the11,269 square metre building.

The rest of the 13-level building has been almost fully leased.

The sale will release 3,000 square metres onto the leasing market, helping to free up the office market which has been experiencing tightening vacancy rates.

Major tenants of the building include Computershare, Transfield Worley and the Home Building Society.

The RBA built the building in 1972 when it was separated from the Commonwealth Bank. In 1993-94 the building was refurbished.

“All we have open at the moment is our Adelaide and Canberra branch as well as our Sydney headquarters,” the RBA said.

In its annual report released on Tuesday, RBA Governor Ian Macfarlane made no mention of the sale of its branches but was at pains to point out that while the bank was downsizing it was not deserting the states completely.

“We are extremely conscious, however, that if no offsetting measures are taken, the closure of branches would run the risk of putting us out of touch with regional issues at a time when they are becoming more important,” Mr Macfarlane wrote.

The bank is planning to keep a small group of economists in WA although they will have to find new digs.

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