Carrum Downs heads new Community Bank® push
The opening of Carrum Downs Community Bank® Branch this weekend signals a further expansion of the popular banking movement.
Carrum Downs will be followed by six more branch openings over the next seven weeks as Bendigo Bank's Community Bank® network spreads to its fourth state.
Bendigo's managing director Rob Hunt said the raft of launches in coming weeks would include two more Melbourne suburbs - Carrum Downs and Parkdale - plus the first Western Australian sites.
"By Christmas we will have 19 Community Bank® branches, well on track to meet our target of 25-plus by 30 June,"Mr Hunt said.
"We are looking forward to opening in Western Australia , the fourth state to open Community Banks following Victoria, NSW and South Australia.
"The Western Australian State Government has given its communities great assistance in securing their own bank branches and they are raring to go.
"There are many ways communities can push to establish banking services for their town, but Community Bank® provides certainty, local involvement and the satisfaction of creating a local business to achieve their goal.
"It is not for every town, but if the community has the leaders and the will, Community Bank® provides a more robust solution than others."
Bendigo Bank's head of Community Banking, Russell Jenkins, said the planned openings were in:-
- Carrum Downs (Melbourne) on Saturday 9 October
- Kulin (W.A.) on Friday 15 October
- Goomalling (W.A.) on Friday 22 October
- Portarlington (Vic.) on Saturday 30 October
- Tambellup/Cranbrook (W.A.) on Friday 12 November
- Parkdale (Melbourne) on Sunday 27 November
"Other communities are in the pipeline, but it really is quite disruptive to open branches over the Christmas/New Year period, so we will restart our program of openings in February 2000," Mr Jenkins said.
"Tambellup/Cranbrook will be opened by Bendigo Bank Chairman Richard Guy. It will be a joint operation with a branch in both towns.
"This has worked well in our very first site at Rupanyup and Minyip in Victoria, where the community began making monthly operating surpluses in their first year of trading."
Mr Jenkins said Bendigo Bank had so far received more than 500 inquiries from across Australia about Community Bank®, "which is quite an incredible response".
"We continue to work with a large number of communities which are at different stages in the process of securing their own Community Bank® branch."
Mr Jenkins said a number of the 12 branches now open were returning monthly operating surpluses to their community owners.
"We are also hearing a lot of stories about how the morale of communities has been lifted through working together to achieve a Community Bank®.
"In many cases this is being translated into increased economic activity in the town, which we always said was one of the main aims of Community Bank®.