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'Fee Free' opening for Warburton Community Bank® branch

25 February 2000 |Media centre

Customers transferring banking to Warburton's new Community Bank® over the next three months will have their establishment fees waived.

The announcement was made today by Bendigo Bank's Russell Jenkins as Warburton opened 2000's first Community Bank® branch.

Mr Jenkins said the branch was the 20th in Bendigo's Community Bank® network, with the likelihood of a further ten branches opening this year.

Warburton Community Bank® chairman Don Vickers said the fee-free offer was both an inducement and a reward for the efforts local residents had made in establishing their own bank branch.

"Like many Victorian communities, ours was at risk of being killed off by a combination of centralised government services and the withdrawal of businesses such as the banks.

"But rather than accept what seemed inevitable, the community pulled itself up by its bootstraps to achieve what we see here today.

"Our bank has become a rallying point for community spirit and has had an enormously beneficial impact even before we open the doors."

Mr Vickers said 300 residents had contributed almost $400,000 towards establishing the banking business.

"That is one of the highest participation rates of any Community Bank® and augurs well for the success of our business.

"We have already seen what can be achieved, at Upwey, which is now making a profit of $10,000 a month to plough back into the community.

"Not only does Community Bank® give us the chance to secure a bank we control, but it can do so much more for our district."

Mr Jenkins said Bendigo Bank wanted to make it as easy as possible for local customers to support their own branch.

"It is only fair that people wishing to support their own community by switching banks should be able to do so at minimum cost to themselves.

"So where possible, we will waive fees which would normally apply to the setting up of new lending accounts." Mr Jenkins said conditions would apply since there were isolated instances in which the Bank could not waive fees.

"But in the overwhelming majority of cases, Community Bank® customers transferring business will not pay application fees for loans, valuation fees and any fees associated with setting up of accounts."

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