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Community Banks contribute $24M in profits to Australian Communities

28 October 2019 |Announcements
Bendigo Bank marks 21 years of the Community Bank model by returning more than $24M to Australian communities in FY19

At a time when upholding community expectations in banking has never been more important, Bendigo Bank today announced its Community Bank network returned more than $24 million to Australian communities in the last financial year. The investment has supported important local sporting, infrastructure, education, arts and cultural initiatives and other unmet community needs. Since its establishment 21 years ago, the unique Community Bank model has returned more than $229 million to Australian communities, in addition to over $57 million in dividends to local shareholders.

In many cases, the investments have unlocked further government and local business funding, realising community projects that have exceeded many multiple millions of dollars nationally - as well as supporting local job generation and economic growth.

Unlike other banks, Bendigo Bank's Community Bank model is based on a 'profit-with-purpose' philosophy, which means profits are returned directly to the local community that helps generate them. Importantly, the community decides where those profits are invested and the fact that branches are locally owned and operated with funding returned to that particular community is a distinct point of difference.

"Ensuring healthy and vibrant communities has never been more critical than it is today. This investment goes directly to the heart of local communities – supporting critical social networks and infrastructure. It’s pleasing we’ve seen a healthy increase of more than $2 million on last year’s community contributions from our unique and internationally-recognised Community Bank network," said Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Managing Director, Marnie Baker.

The $24 million is supporting hundreds of projects that would otherwise not have got off the ground. These initiatives span culture and heritage, environment, community facilities and infrastructure, health and wellbeing, education, emergency services, animal welfare, and sport and recreation projects.

"Our Community Bank network continues to strengthen and underpin the communities in which we operate by funding vital community projects. In some cases, local communities have managed to turn one dollar into ten by leveraging Community Bank company profits with additional business and government support to fund some incredible locally determined transformational projects.

One such initiative was the $2.4 million Cloverleaf Centre at Rosebud, Victoria which is a collaborative community project between the Uniting Church, Bendigo Bank and Community Lifestyle Accommodation. It’s the result of years of fundraising and advocacy by ageing parents on the Mornington Peninsula who feared for the future care of their adult children with disabilities. Rye & Districts Community Bank supported these families with a $275,000 contribution, who each chipped in $30,000 -to complement a $1 million donation from the State Government and further $1 million from the Federal Government to build an eight bed facility.

The past 12 months also saw the Victorian town of Warburton realise their dream of switching on a $1.2 million Community Hydro Scheme, a new green power plant on a local golf course that is now powering the equivalent of 150 homes following collaboration between Warburton and Yarra Junction Community Bank Branches, Bendigo Bank, Yarra Ranges Council, Victorian State Government, Powershop and other commercial and community contributions.

"Community Banks have more than exceeded their original purpose and do far more than simply restore or provide more competitive banking services. In addition to generating local jobs and economic growth communities across Australia, communities get to decide on and implement their own priorities.

"We are proud to be Australia's bank of choice to the many customers and their communities who play an important role in helping to shape the kind of communities they want to live in," Ms Baker concluded

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VIC Metro


VIC Regional




Community Bank Network: Fast Facts

Branches: 324
Dividends paid to shareholders: $57,036,721
Directors: 1,958
Shareholders: 75,851
Community Bank employed staff: 1,593

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