The Baring crisis of 1890 had seriously shaken the confidence of investors throughout the financial community in London. The downfall of Barings' international commitments also swayed markets away from overseas risks towards the apparently safer option of domestic industrial and municipal investment. The clear warnings over international involvements were underlined by the financial and political crises in South America in the early 1890s, the failure of the English Bank of the River Plate in 1891 and, in the East, the collapse of the New Oriental Bank Corporation in 1892.1 Overseas risks became yet more obvious when, in April and May 1893, the Australian banking sector was plunged into crisis: of the 64 banks operating in Australia before the crisis, 34 closed permanently. Those which failed or were temporarily suspended included London-based banks with large numbers of shareholders, notably the English, Scottish and Australian Chartered Bank and the London Chartered Bank of Australia.