About Community Bank®
A Community Bank ® branch is a locally owned and operated company, which functions as a franchise of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank. The Bank provides the coverage of its banking licence, a full range of banking products, training of staff and ongoing support.
Depositors are protected by the Bank's imposing track record when it comes to the security of depositors' funds. We are one of Australia's oldest financial institutions, we have operated since 1858 and have declared a profit in every year and we have without fail honoured our depositors.
The Bank and the community company are each entitled to agreed portions of the revenue of the local Community Bank® branch and the local company is responsible for paying branch running costs.
When the local company begins to make a regular operating surplus, after the payment of branch running costs, and the Bank's share of the revenue is received, the remaining funds are available to be reinvested back into the community through dividends to shareholders and grants to community groups and projects.
The first Community Bank® branches
Between 1993 and 2000, more than 2,050 bank branches closed across Australia. These closures represented a 29% reduction in branch numbers in just seven years and many communities were left without branch banking facilities.
Bendigo Bank identified this trend and recognised the impact the reduction in branch numbers was having on communities.
The Community Bank® story first started in 1998 when Bendigo Bank partnered with the Victorian communities, Rupanyup and Minyip, to establish a banking pilot to return banking services to the towns. It succeeded, and since the twin branches inception a decade ago, they have channeled more than $700,000 in profits back into community projects.
Growth of the network
When it first started, Community Bank® was eagerly sought out by many rural communities looking for a sustainable solution to branch banking that could be quickly implemented, but the model has proven to translate into metropolitan communities with almost half of the Community Bank® network now based in the major cities of Australia.
The number of Community Bank® branches has continued to increase each year, with customers now committing more than $26.8 billion in banking business throughout the Community Bank® network.
More importantly, more than $148 million in Community Bank® branch profits has been returned to community projects and over $37 million has been paid in dividends to more than 73,000 local shareholders.
And behind those numbers are hundreds of stories of Community Bank® branches making a real difference to the lives of local people.
Whether it's building a community hall, sponsoring an art prize or even buying new footy jumpers for the local side - these Community Bank® branches are helping improve the economic and social prospects of their local communities.
Add to those contributions the employment of more than 1,500 staff members and daily expenses in the local economy and you have a truly meaningful contribution to those communities and to local prosperity.
|As at 11 December 2015 the Community Bank® branch network had achieved|
|Community Bank® branches||310|
Donations to local groups and projects
|Over $148 million|
Dividends paid to shareholders
|Over $38 million|
Community Bank® branch staff
Community Bank® branch directors
Today, there are 310 Community Bank® branches right across Australia from Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, Augusta in the West and Dover in Tasmania.
The essence of the Community Bank® concept is in sharing the responsibilities and rewards between the community and our bank. Communities across Australia have accepted the responsibility of providing start-up capital and making their branches successful - and are increasingly reaping rewards that aren't just limited to banking.
In the early days, most attention was focussed on how the Community Bank® concept has secured face-to-face banking services for local communities. Of course this is important, but it ignores the tremendous social and economic contributions being made by Community Bank® branches as more capital is retained locally, more commercial activity is stimulated and the confidence of local community leaders increases.
We continue to witness the tangible results produced by the Community Bank® model - not just in rural areas, but in our regional centres and the suburbs of our capital cities.
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank continues to participate in the development of the Community Bank® model with an enormous sense of pride. We are indeed fortunate to partner with many vibrant and successful communities.
The success of the Community Bank® network in its first decade indicates that the sky is the limit for communities that choose to realise the ambitions they have for the economic security of their residents and businesses.