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Branching out: Bendigo opens number 300

9 June 2005 |Media centre

Bendigo Bank tomorrow notches twin milestones with the opening of the North Ryde Community Bank® Branch in Sydney.

North Ryde is the Victorian-based bank’s 300th branch, a four-fold expansion in just 10 years.

And it is Community Bank® branch number 150, meaning that locally owned and operated community branches now comprise half of Bendigo Bank’s network.

“These are significant numbers in anyone’s terms,” said managing director Rob Hunt.

“Three hundred full-service branches means we now complement our reputation for customer-focussed service with a significant branch presence.

“Our ATM network, too, now exceeds 300 and we have an excellent, customer friendly internet and phone banking system, so Bendigo is becoming increasingly competitive and attractive to customers on all fronts. In the coming months we will sign up our millionth customer.

“These numbers signal that we have the potential to become a meaningful force in retail banking.”

Mr Hunt said expanding Bendigo’s distribution network had been a key aim when the company converted from a building society to bank in 1995.

“Our research then showed that customers felt the current banking system was focussed on its own objectives rather than those of customers or individual communities.

“Certainly 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 community we would secure our own future success.

“We set out to establish a clear point of difference and unique value proposition for customers and communities around Australia and that is reflected in our growth.

“At bank conversion we had 74 branches, and all but two of them in Victoria. Today, half our branches are interstate and this trend is continuing.

“And to have half the network owned by local communities demonstrates the strength of the demand for Bendigo’s customer and community focused approach to banking.

“New communities continue to be attracted to our style of banking and we expect our network to continue to grow by around 30 branches per year for the foreseeable future.”

Mr Hunt said two-thirds of Bendigo’s branches were less than five years old, signalling the company’s strong prospects for continued performance improvement.

“Most of those branches are growing very strongly and will continue to increase their contribution as their businesses mature.

“The prospects for our business are excellent as long as we continue to focus on producing good outcomes for our customers and communities.”

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