Highlighting youth in a year of achievements
2016 marked a year of achievements for Bendigo Bank, with a number of significant highlights reflecting the Bank's vision to be Australia's most customer connected bank.
The Bank's unique Community Bank® model continued to play an active role in building sustainable and resilient communities, with $17 million returned to local communities in 2016.
To date, the 313 locally owned Community Bank® branches have collectively reinvested more than $165 million of their profits into local projects deemed important by local people.
In August this year, the Bank expanded its Community Bank® model, collaborating with Deakin University to create the Deakin University Community Bank® initiative - an Australian first.
The real benefit lies in the long-term return to the Deakin community, through the creation of a sustainable income stream that will grow as the business grows and will be invested back into meaningful projects.
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank's Managing Director, Mike Hirst, said the expansion of the Community Bank® model into a university recognised that community wasn't just bound by geography - a town or a suburb - but was also created through shared interests and objectives.
"The new model is the culmination of a long engagement with the Deakin community about the value they see in a community banking service and how it could support their goals," he said.
"What we heard overwhelmingly was that they see this as a win-win, a true example of shared value.
"It means that for staff, students and alumni, just by doing their everyday banking through the Deakin University Community Bank® initiative, they can contribute to supporting projects that matter to them and their university."
Further strengthening the Bank's commitment to improve long-term outcomes for young people and their communities, 89 new tertiary students received financial support under the Bank's successful Scholarship Program.
They join more than 110 second and third year students awarded continuing scholarships, sharing in $1.25 million in funding to help meet tertiary study costs.
The program enters its 10th year in 2017 with scholarships worth more than $5.4 million supporting 468 students since inception.
The Bank also welcomed 10 graduates to its 2016 Graduate Program, who joined 13 inducted into the 2015 program, with 40 graduate completing the two year program since it launched in 2014.
The program provides university graduates the experience of working in the financial services sector, gaining skills across a range of divisions that complement their field of study.
In 2016, the Bank became one of the first nationally-operating banks to offer Android Pay in Australia, with customers now able to make purchases on their smartphones simply and securely.
The Bank also introduced its new Protect+Pay app, giving customers greater control over security features for their credit and debit cards.
Bendigo Bank's 2016 performance was again boosted by an exceptional product offering, which received multiple accolades this year for value, customer experience and personalised service:
- The Investment Trends December 2015 Margin Lending Investor Report revealed that Leveraged was the highest rated margin lender in the industry for the Overall Client Satisfaction and number one for Net Promoter Score.
- Bendigo CommunitySaver Account awarded first place for the Most Innovative Retail Banking Product of the Year in the 2016 Australian Retail Banking Awards.
- The Bank took out Best Property Fixed Interest Investment Loan at the Financial Review Smart Investor Blue Ribbon Awards 2016, awarded for the Bendigo Bank Connect Package. Adelaide Bank SmartFix was also highly commended in the same category, and Leveraged was highly commended in the Best Margin Loan category.
- CANSTAR'S Superannuation Star Ratings Report awarded Bendigo Bank's SmartStart Super® a 5 star rating for the fourth year.
- Money Magazine's 2016 Best of the Best Awards for Best-Value Mobile Plan - Average Usage, was won by Bendigo Bank Telco, for its 4G Lite plan.
"Our Bank is very proud of our strong and valued brand, our commitment to great customer service and our role in the communities in which we operate, Mr Hirst said.
"Our actions in delivering on this promise are real and there for all to see."
Bendigo Bank aims to be Australia's most customer-connected bank, with more than 600 service outlets, including 313 locally owned Community Bank® branches that have collectively reinvested more than $165 million of their profits into local projects.