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Annual General Meeting Merger plans on track

29 October 2007 |Media centre

Bendigo Bank Chairman Robert Johanson today confirmed the bank was on track to expand and strengthen the business as it works towards a merger with Adelaide Bank.

Mr Johanson also confirmed that the bank has no reason to amend its stand-alone earnings guidance for 2007/2008.

“Our merger with Adelaide Bank will result in a stronger, more broadly based business, with a wider geographic spread better able to continue to grow and deliver shareholder value, but without compromising on the values and principles which are at the heart of our business,” he said.

Mr Johanson told the meeting that Bendigo Bank today was the result of many different organisations coming together, with more than 15 mergers and acquisitions in the past 25 years.

“Each of those transactions changed the business by expanding and strengthening it,” Mr Johanson said.

“We are confident the merger with Adelaide Bank will bring similar benefits.

“Our role as directors of this company is to make the investments and build the capacity and relationships for the organisation so that the next leaders will be able, in turn, to prosper in the face of the changes and challenges they will face.

“It is important to put the proposal to merge with Adelaide Bank into the context of the profound changes that have occurred to our business, and the Australian banking landscape, during the past 20 years,” he said.

Adelaide Bank shareholders are due to vote on the merger with Bendigo Bank at a shareholder meeting on 12 November 2007.

Mr Johanson also responded to shareholder questions about the current credit crisis and its impact on Bendigo Bank and the pending merger with Adelaide Bank.

“There is no sign of stress in the domestic credit market and the credit quality of assets held by Bendigo Bank and Adelaide Bank remains very high,” he said.

“Of course, the change in pricing as a result of the credit crisis affects every bank. For Bendigo, it affects our margin because the price we pay to our wholesale funding sources and our alliance partners has increased.

“But this represents a smaller portion of our funding than with other banks and we continue to be confident about our business model and our ability to produce a very solid result,” he said.

Today’s meeting voted overwhelmingly to adopt all resolutions on the meeting agenda, including the re-election of three retiring Directors and an amendment to the Company Constitution to increase the maximum number of directors of the Company from 10 to 12.

Full details of all proposals adopted are available in the Investor Information section of the Bendigo Bank website.

The text of Mr Johanson’s address and the formal outcome of the 2007 AGM was lodged with the Australian Stock Exchange earlier today.

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