Bendigo Bank assets top $4 billion
Bendigo Bank's total assets have topped $4 billion for the first time.
Group managing director Rob Hunt said Bendigo's "fourth billion" had been achieved in exactly 12 months as the Group continued to expand quickly.
"This compares with 20 months for our third billion, five years for our second and 133 years for the first," he said.
The milestone was achieved during April, with total assets at that month's end standing at $4.014 billion.
The Group also has more than $650 million dollars in off-balance sheet funds under management and a 50 per cent share of the $650 million Elders Rural Services Limited joint venture.
Mr Hunt said the march to the $4 billion mark had been hastened by the acquisition in April of IOOF Building Society and its $330 million of mainly housing loans.
"But we have also seen excellent organic growth both in home and business lending.
"Even once the IOOF transaction is excluded, we have still grown assets by more than half-a-billion off our own bat in 12 months.
"That represents an expansion of 20 per cent in our core business.
"We have also seen tremendous growth in retail deposits, which have increased by 39 per cent to $2.95 billion since 30 June last year."
Mr Hunt described the Bendigo's business growth as "excellent, but handled in a controlled and orderly fashion".
"There is currently strong demand for a customer-focused bank such as Bendigo and we have taken a deliberate strategy to contain growth within the limits of the organisation's capacity to meet customer expectations."
Mr Hunt said that because of the excellent growth, he expected the Group profit to grow by at least 30 per cent for the 1998/99 financial year.
"And there is no reason this strong growth will not continue, as we add to our capacities to write new business.
"Our Community Bank branch network is expanding and is now drawing significant business volumes and our Phone and Internet Bank services are attracting new customers from areas not serviced by our traditional branch network.
"Our joint ventures with Elders, in rural Australia, and IOOF with funds management also hold significant growth potential."