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Dromana makes it 200 for Community Bank® network

29 June 2007 |Media centre

Today will be a day of celebration for both the Dromana community and for Bendigo Bank across Australia.

Dromana Community Bank® Branch will be launched today (Friday 29 June), making it the 200th Community Bank® branch in Australia.

Bendigo Bank Chairman Robert Johanson, who will open the branch, said it was a significant milestone for Bendigo Bank.

He said the number of Community Bank® branches had doubled in the last four years and in the same time frame, customers had tripled their commitment of banking business to the network, increasing it to more than $9 billion.

“More importantly, in excess of $8.6 million in Community Bank® branch profits have been returned to community projects and $5.4 million has been paid in dividends to local shareholders,” Mr Johanson said.

“And behind those numbers are hundreds of stories of Community Bank® branches making a real difference to the lives of local people,” he said.

“Whether it’s building a community hall, sponsoring an art prize or even buying new footy jumpers for the local side – these Community Bank® branches are helping improve the economic and social prospects of their local communities.

“Add to those contributions the employment and daily expenses in the local economy and you have a truly meaningful contribution to local prosperity.”

Mr Johanson said the Mornington Peninsula town of Dromana was a shining example of a community coming together to bring a Community Bank® branch to town.

The Dromana community has been working on its campaign for just over 12 months and received generous support from locals, who bought $1 million in shares in the company in just one week.

“To raise $1 million locally in a week is a phenomenal effort. It is evidence of the community’s true belief in the Community Bank® model and the impact it can have on local communities,” Mr Johanson said.

Dromana Community Bank® Steering Committee Chairman Stephen Edmund said from today, the community would start to reap the benefits of its commitment to the venture.

“What a great day it is going to be for Dromana,” Mr Edmund said.

“Not only are we returning traditional branch banking to our community, we have established a community-owned company and an enterprise our entire region will benefit from,” he said.

Mr Edmund said the Dromana branch would demonstrate its true commitment to the community at tomorrow’s launch by contributing funds to nine local community groups, including schools, Dromana Vietnam Veterans, Dromana Country Fire Authority and the local Red Cross.

“This is just the beginning of what our community can achieve,” Mr Edmund said.

“Our parent company, Rye and District Community Financial Services, has had great success through its Rye branch, committing $1.8 million to the local community in just six years,” he said.

“Now we are part of the ever-growing and successful Community Bank® network and can look forward to similar success.”

Across Australia, the Community Bank® network has 51,000 local shareholders, 1300 directors (mostly volunteers) and has directly created 950 jobs.

Today’s festivities will begin at the branch at 1pm, with entertainment from local school students, a visit from Bendigo Bank Piggy and give-aways for children. The official opening will start at 2pm.

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