Community Bank® network hits $2 billion milestone
An account opened by a Sydney couple embarking on a new family business has ticked over the two billion dollar mark for Australia's Community Banks.
More than 100,000 Australians are now banking in 78 branches of Bendigo Bank, owned and operated by their friends and neighbours.
The two billion dollar milestone was achieved when Nick and Mia Frazer of Curl Curl opened their family and business accounts at the Harbord Community Bank® Branch on Sydney's north shore last Thursday.
Bendigo Bank's head of Community Banking, Russell Jenkins, said the second billion dollars of banking business had been achieved in "remarkably quick time".
The first billion dollars of business took three years, but the second has been achieved in just 12 months.
Mr Jenkins said the significance of the $2 billion milestone being achieved in a Sydney suburb had not been lost on Bendigo.
“In 1998 two rural towns in Victoria agreed to pilot Bendigo Bank’s Community Bank® model, a concept designed to return banking services to rural Australia,”
“Today, four years later, we have 78 Community Banks throughout Australia with at least half of those branches located in metropolitan suburbs and regional cities.
“The diversity of the Community Bank® model has really been quite amazing as people vote with their feet to bank with bank branches that provide them with quality service and also plough profits back into developing their local community.
“Every one of our Community Banks throughout Australia have contributed to this $2 billion milestone - from branches located in the shade of gum trees to here in Sydney, virtually in the shadow of the Sydney Harbor Bridge.”
Mr Jenkins said Bendigo Bank expected to open a further 30 Community Bank® branches in the current financial year, topping the 100-branch mark before 30 June.
"There are currently six branches in the Sydney metropolitan region and that number will probably double this financial year.
"Bendigo Bank is currently working with 100-odd communities across Australia and there is no slackening of demand."
Mr Frazer said he was "thrilled" that the family’s banking business had clocked up the two billionth dollar.
"I am happy to be able to support a bank which supports Harbord,” Mr Frazer said.
“We too have opened a new business in this community and it is fantastic to not only have a bank branch around the corner, but one which is owned and operated by our local community.
“We have met our bank manager and now that he is employed by the local company and is committed not only to his customers, but to the greater Harbord community,” he said.
Since December 2001 Bendigo Bank has opened six company and six community owned branches in Sydney, North Richmond Community Bank® Branch opening in the Hawkesbury region today.