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Bendigo Bank MD to launch Port Lincoln

11 March 2008 |Media centre

Tuesday, 11 March was a day of celebration for both the Port Lincoln community and for Bendigo Bank across South Australia.

The launch of the Port Lincoln Community Bank® Branch made it the 207th Community Bank® branch in Australia, and the first to open in South Australia since Bendigo Bank’s merger with Adelaide Bank.

Bendigo Bank Managing Director Rob Hunt, who opened the branch, said it was a significant milestone for Bendigo Bank.

“We have identified South Australia as a growth area for Bendigo Bank, particularly in light of the Adelaide Bank merger, and we are excited with the opening of Port Lincoln Community Bank® Branch,” he said.

Port Lincoln is our ninth Community Bank® branch to open in South Australia.

He said the number of Community Bank® branches had doubled in the last four years and in the same time frame, customers had tripled their commitment of banking business to the network, increasing it to more than $10 billion.

“More importantly, in excess of $16.8 million in Community Bank® branch profits have been returned to community projects and $12 million has been paid in dividends to local shareholders,” Mr Hunt said.

“And behind those numbers are hundreds of stories of Community Bank® branches making a real difference to the lives of local people,” he said.

“Whether it’s building a community hall, sponsoring an art prize or even buying new footy jumpers for the local side – these Community Bank® branches are helping improve the economic and social prospects of their local communities.

“Add to those contributions the employment and daily expenses in the local economy and you have a truly meaningful contribution to local prosperity.”

Mr Hunt said the Eyre Peninsula town of Port Lincoln was a shining example of a community coming together to bring a Community Bank® branch to town.

The Port Lincoln community has been working on its campaign for just 12 months and received generous support from locals, who bought $700,000 in shares in the company in just two and a half weeks.

“To raise $700,000 locally in two weeks is a phenomenal effort. It is evidence of the community’s true belief in the Community Bank® model and the impact it can have on their own local community,” Mr Hunt said.

Port Lincoln Community Bank® Chairman Pat Callaghan said the community would start to reap the benefits of its commitment to the venture.

“What a great day it is for Port Lincoln,” Dr Callaghan said.

“Not only have we returned traditional branch banking to our community, we have established a community-owned company and an enterprise our entire region will benefit from,” he said.

“We have the right staff in place, who can deliver not only the Bendigo way of banking but also the “community” way of banking, which will really start to make an impact.

“One of the reasons that our community got behind our campaign so quickly is because they have seen how successful the Cummins Community Bank® Branch has been.

“Our directors have worked closely with the Cummins Community Bank® board – a Community Bank® branch which is held in high regard within the 200-plus strong Community Bank® network.

Not only has the Cummins board developed a successful banking business, the staff have thrown themselves into their community and the board has allocated more than $500,000 in community grants and $210,000 in dividends to shareholders.

“Having run a successful campaign and oversubscribing our share offer, we know that we have the community spirit to really make this venture a success,” Dr Callaghan said.

“Tuesday, 11 March 2008 will go down in history as the day the Mums and Dads, traders, business people and the residents of Port Lincoln took control of their financial destiny.

“I urge the people of Port Lincoln who support our community to bank with their new Community Bank® branch and help to grow the business.”

Port Lincoln Community Bank® Branch is located at "The Centre" 34 Liverpool Street Port Lincoln and is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 9am to midday on Saturdays.

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