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Bendigo Bank welcomes rating confirmation

8 January 2003 |Media centre

Bendigo Bank managing director Rob Hunt today welcomed the affirmation of the company’s credit ratings by Standard & Poor’s.

In a statement issued earlier today, Standard & Poor’s affirmed Bendigo Bank Limited’s BBB/A-2 ratings following completion of its formal review process on the bank. The outlook on the long-term rating remains stable.

Mr Hunt said: "We welcome Standard & Poor’s statement and affirmation of our current credit rating.

"Bendigo Bank has for a number of years maintained a consistent business strategy focused on helping customers achieve their financial goals and on building the capacity of each of the communities in which we operate.

"We welcome today’s further recognition of the strength and promise of this strategy, which we continue to develop further.

"Bendigo has invested heavily in the building blocks underpinning this unique community focused approach and these investments are now beginning to make a solid contribution to our profitability.

"We expect further benefits to flow from these investments as we move forward."

In its statement, Standard & Poor’s said its rating affirmation was supported by “improved profitability in 2002, maintenance of sound asset quality, and an increasingly diverse business profile – factors that were the cornerstone of Standard & Poor’s decision to upgrade Bendigo Bank to BBB from BBB- in May 2002”.

"Indeed, the rating upgrade on Bendigo Bank during a challenging year for the domestic banking sector placed the bank in a unique position, as domestic rating upgrades were a rarity in 2002."

Standard & Poor’s said Bendigo Bank’s “unique community focused business model continues to generate improved profitability, robust retail deposit growth and above-peer loan growth, as well as creating a defendable differentiated domestic franchise.

"The stable outlook reflects Standard & Poor’s expectation that although the 2003 banking environment will be a more challenging one with an expected weaker credit environment, Bendigo is well-placed to improve its profitability while maintaining sound asset quality and acceptable capitalisation."

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