The last full-time banking service left Forrestfield in 1999‚ prompting anger within the community. Rumblings within the community prompted local newsagent Phil Mutter to approach Bendigo Bank. He had 10 business people who were prepared to fund the return of a bank branch to Forrestfield. But Phil soon realised that wasn’t the solution‚ the whole community would have to be involved.
A public meeting was held in mid-1999 and 50 people attended‚ all agreeing to support a Community Bank® campaign which began in earnest. Local business people‚ traders‚ councillors and residents formed a steering committee. Every Saturday‚ steering committee members could be found treading the streets of Forrestfield‚ spreading the Community Bank® word. After collecting sufficient pledges‚ the feasibility study got underway and the results were overwhelmingly positive. The steering committee was convinced that the people of Forrestfield were not only prepared to become shareholders in this venture‚ they would be prepared to bank with Forrestfield & Districts Community Bank®.
The prospectus was launched just before Christmas and it was a real struggle. The board lost one month during this period when people were on holidays and thinking of everything but becoming shareholders in a local bank branch. The first half of the prospectus filled quickly but the second half was more difficult. On the last day of our share offer the board was still $30‚000 short and was ready to issue a supplementary prospectus.
At midday‚ the final share applications arrived‚ only hours before the 5pm deadline.
Forrestfield & Districts Community Bank® Branch opened on 5 June 2001.
8 years after opening their first branch in Forrestfield‚ Forrestfield & Districts Community Financial Services Ltd have opened their 2nd site at High Wycombe.
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