Dromana Community Bank® Branch
A significant amount of work and public consultation has been undertaken in relation to the feasibility of establishing the Dromana Community Bank® Branch of Bendigo Bank. A preliminary public meeting was held to discuss the Community Bank® concept and the steps required to establish a Community Bank® Branch of Bendigo Bank in Dromana. As a result‚ the committee engaged an independent consultant‚ Richmond Sinnott & Delahunty to conduct a feasibility study in relation to the proposal. The results of the feasibility study were presented to the committee at a meeting held on 30th October 2006 and it was unanimously voted to proceed towards the establishment of the Dromana Community Bank® Branch.
Rye & District Community Bank® Branch
Like all communities‚ the beachside community of Rye has had its tough times
but the spirit of the community fails to be dampened. Rye’s Community
Bank® campaign is testimony to that determination to achieve and pride
in the community.
Rye has a population of 3000‚ the majority are retirees and self-employed
people. Statistics indicate that 72 percent of the community is receiving some
form of social security benefit.
The people of Rye watched as four of their five banks closed their doors.
They then decided that enough was enough‚ rallying together to determine what
interest‚ if any‚ there would be in establishing a Community Bank®.
The response was overwhelming. An initial community-based survey resulted
in 320 surveys returned‚ with 94 people indicating they would be willing to
involved in a steering committee. This was all before leaders in the Rye community
had contacted Bendigo Bank to discuss Community Banking.
Once the Community Bank® campaign was officially underway‚ it rapidly
gained momentum‚ the community raising $540‚000 in pledges less than four weeks
after the launch of its pledge campaign.
When a strong business plan was returned the local committee launched its
prospectus. It took 16 days to raise Rye Community Bank®’s minimum
share offer of $530‚000. Forty-five percent of people who initially pledged
money missing out on purchasing shares. The response was unprecedented.
A factor in the campaign was the constant communication to the community‚
with public meetings held at the four main stages of the campaign‚ from inception
through to the prospectus launch.
At each of these public meetings we had between 200 to 250 people‚ keen to
learn more about Bendigo Bank and exactly how their Community Bank® was
going to operate. This really did get us off to a flying start.
The doors of Rye Community Bank® opened on 18 June 2001. That early
support to establish a publicly owned Community Bank® began to flow through the
doors as people began to transfer their banking business.
A coup for the board was the appointment of former Mornington Peninsula local
Gary Sanford as branch manager. Not only did he grow up in the Mornington Peninsula‚
when he returned to take up the manager’s role he and his family resumed
their involvement in the community‚ Gary coaching the local junior football
It took less than four months for the people of Rye to realise that Community
Banking is indeed more than simply banking. The board gave Gary a list
of business people to approach and both Gary and David spoke at numerous community
groups and clubs about the importance of supporting Rye Community Bank®.
Common feedback to directors and staff include: This is a different bank‚
and what’s more it’s our bank; a pleasure to walk into the bank
and be welcomed as a person; this is a real bank‚ what banks used to be like.
It has reinforced what the locals always knew‚ that there is a strong sense
of pride and achievement in Rye.