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Bendigo Bank in Queensland

27 September 2004 |Media centre

Bendigo Bank's Board of Directors held a business luncheon in the city today to outline the company's growing success in Queensland.

Chairman Richard Guy OAM outlined some of the highlights for the company following Bendigo Bank's merger with First Australian Building Society in October 2000.

“Four years ago, we set out to add value to the state of Queensland, primarily by creating jobs, skills investment and prosperity,” Mr Guy said.

“Bendigo Bank has now been part of the Queensland community for four years, long enough to make a reasonable assessment of how well we have kept our promises.”

During the past four years Bendigo Bank has:

Reported a four-fold increase in profit performance in the State.
Opened 15 new branches, including 11 Community Bank branches.
Established a National Loans Centre and IT Development Centre in Ipswich.
Increased jobs by one-third, creating 150 new jobs.
More than doubled the investment value of Queensland's 9000 Bendigo Bank shareholders.
“These are impressive figures but it is important to emphasise that we have also stepped beyond banking to engage communities in new activities that will further boost their prospects,” Mr Guy said.

“Our Community Bank model is a perfect example of partnering communities not only to retain a banking service in their town, regional city or suburb, but to also add to the fabric of these communities by sharing in branch revenue.

“We have partnered 11 Queensland communities and opened Community Bank® branches and there are currently a further 16 towns and suburbs which are campaigning to establish their own Community Bank branch.

“Another of these beyond banking initiatives is Community Telco. The State's first telco is iTEL in Ipswich, a locally owned company providing telecommunication services to the district.

“Through buying their telco services locally, people ensure that more money is retained in their community. It also means increased competition, leading to lower prices but, perhaps more importantly, improved and new services.”

Another initiative which Queensland has embraced is Lead On, a youth and community development program.

Through Lead On, funded by Bendigo Bank, young people are involved in meaningful projects sponsored by local business. In Queensland, Lead On programs are underway in Ipswich, Beaudesert, Springfield, Noosa and Cairns.

“Why on earth would a bank want to get involved in all this extra-curricular activity?” Mr Guy said.

“Because to us it is not extra-curricular, it is a vital element of our business strategy.

“If we can help to improve the prospects of every community in which we operate, then our business cannot help but be more successful, particularly if we are regarded as an important contributor.

“Prosperous communities are great places in which to run businesses and there is no doubt that Queensland is a prosperous community.”

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