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The final frontier Bendigo reaches the Northern Territory

15 September 2006 |Media centre

Bendigo Bank will begin its expansion into the top end next week when its first Northern Territory branch opens its doors for business.

A massive community celebration is planned for Coolalinga on Monday (Note to eds: Monday 18 September) to launch the Coolalinga and Districts Community Bank® Branch - the Bendigo’s first branch in the territory.

His Honour Mr Ted Egan, Administrator of the Northern Territory, will officially open the branch on Monday evening, following an afternoon of entertainment and celebration.

And, at 9am on Tuesday, the branch will open its doors for business.

Bendigo Bank Chief General Manager Strategy & Staff Greg Gillett said it was an exciting day for the Bendigo Bank, for the Northern Territory and for the residents of Coolalinga and surrounds.

“This is the final part of the Bendigo Bank’s interstate expansion,” Mr Gillett said.

“Following the opening of this Coolalinga and Districts Community Bank® Branch, the Bendigo will be a truly national organisation, with branches in each state and territory,” he said.

“The Coolalinga committee has worked hard over the past three years to make this branch a reality and the branch opening is a credit to the local committee.”

Bendigo Bank is also working with three other Northern Territory communities – Alice Springs, Nightcliff and Katherine – to establish Community Bank® branches.

“And, planning for a company-owned branch in Darwin to support these Community Bank® branches and campaigns is well underway,” Mr Gillett said.

Mr Gillett said the company’s branch expansion would continue.

“We continue to work with some 60 new communities around Australia and expect to open approximately 30 branches again this financial year, more than half of which will be outside our home State of Victoria.

“Last year we opened 28 Community Bank® branches and five company branches.

“Demand for the Bendigo style of banking remains strong across Australia and the brand is very well accepted wherever we take it.

“We are raising both deposits and loans in every State and more than 50 per cent of our branches are now interstate. This is confirmation that our brand, positioning and retail strategy is cutting through.”

Bendigo Bank currently operates 337 branches. It declared a 2006 after-tax profit of $116 million, a 23 per cent increase on the previous year. This figure benefited from significant items totalling $8.4 million after tax. Excluding those items, net profit was $100.8 million, up from $91.7 million, a 10 per cent lift.

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