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Quarter of new Australian bank branches are Community Bank® branches

8 December 2009 |Media centre

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank will open its 250th Community Bank® branch tonight, with the launch of the Pyrmont Community Bank® Branch in Sydney.

Celebrating the milestone, the bank’s Executive, Customer and Community Russell Jenkins, said the Community Bank® initiative has far exceeded all expectations with Community Bank® branches accounting for one in every four new bank branches opened in Australia.

“Between 1993 and 2000 almost 30 percent of Australia’s bank branches were closed.

“This had a huge impact on the prosperity of many communities and in response the Bendigo launched its Community Bank® model in 1998.

“Although the Community Bank® model was initially pitched at rural and regional locations, it was quickly embraced by suburban and city communities and in the past eight years Community Bank® branches have accounted for 27 percent of all new Australian bank branches.

Mr Jenkins said the Community Bank® concept has played a major role in the strength and expansion of Bendigo Bank’s retail network.

“It took Bendigo Bank 140 years to establish just over 70 branches, but since the introduction of Community Bank® we now have more than 530 customer service outlets with around 800 ATM’s.

“This is testament to the dedication of the communities we partner with and without their response to this unique business model we wouldn’t have seen such rapid growth,” he said.

Pyrmont Community Bank® Company Chairman, Bruce Napthali, said for his community a Community Bank® branch will provide an alternative revenue stream to fund community groups and projects.

“We are looking forward to introducing Bendigo Bank’s industry-leading customer service to our community, but more than this, we’re excited about what the branch can empower us to achieve,” Mr Napthali said.

Community Bank® branches have already returned in excess of $36.7 million dollars to support community endeavours and created more than local 1100 jobs.

“Our branch will share around half of its profits with the local community, which is a unique proposition for people living in Sydney’s CBD.”

Mr Jenkins said the bank has 1.4 million customers and attracts about 10,000 new customers every month.

“More and more people are choosing to bank with us because they value good service, they expect their bank to be fair and honest and they want to feel appreciated for their business.

”Bendigo and Adelaide Bank does all those things and puts something back into the community,” he said.

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