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Bendigo Bank celebrates 10th anniversary

1 July 2005 |Media centre

Bendigo Bank today celebrates the 10th anniversary of achieving its Banking Authority.

The company, which formed as Bendigo Building Society in 1858, converted to Bendigo Bank on 1 July 1995.

Managing Director Rob Hunt said the bank had since established a reputation for high quality customer service and willingness to work with its communities for mutual benefit.

“Customers in 1995 felt the banking system was focussed on its own objectives rather than those of customers or individual communities,” Mr Hunt said.

“We knew that our success was inextricably linked to the success of our customers and communities, so if we could assist the development and success of each town or suburb we would secure our own future success.

“The community has responded to the style of banking we have been able to deliver and that is now being reflected in growing rewards for them and greater success for us.”

Mr Hunt said that through growth in its own branch network, the rise of Community Banks, and the formation of joint ventures and alliances, Bendigo Bank today served 550 communities, four times as many as it did at bank conversion.

Customer numbers had quadrupled, from 250,000 to just under one million, and bank assets under management had increased from around $2 billion to $16 billion.

“That is tremendous growth by any standards, but it has been balanced to ensure benefits for customers, communities and our shareholders and to secure sustainable improvement in performance,” Mr Hunt said.

“We have been able to deliver solid profit increases to our shareholders since the strategy began.

“We have delivered these dividends while maintaining a heavy investment program to grow our network, expand our product range and introduce significant new initiatives such as Community Bank, Community Telco and Community Enterprise Foundation.

“And all this has been achieved while maintaining our customer service, with the most recent Australian customer satisfaction survey again ranking Bendigo number one among the banks.

“When we converted to bank, we said we would draw on our own community origins, and the focus this gave us, to deliver a different style of banking – one focused on better customer outcomes and on building prosperous, sustainable communities.

“Although much work needs to be done yet, we have come an awful long way on that journey in just 10 years and I think it fair to say that Bendigo Bank has contributed to a re-evaluation by the banking sector of its interaction with the community. I am particularly proud of our team’s achievement.

“Our view remains clear: Bendigo Bank needs to be relevant and contribute to the health of the marketplace if we expect continuing support from customers in those communities. We would hope Bendigo Bank will be more valued than other banks in each community because of the commitment and contribution we can make – beyond our own business.”

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