Victoria honours Bendigo Bank as corporate citizen for 2017
Bendigo Bank has been named Victoria’s Corporate Citizen of the Year for 2017.
The honour was bestowed on Bendigo Bank at the Victoria Day celebrations for its outstanding public service during the Victoria Day Council Awards ceremony at the Melbourne Town Hall.
Managing Director Mike Hirst said the announcement was recognition of the Bank's long-term history of building local communities.
"We're incredibly honoured to receive this award today in the state where it all began for Bendigo Bank," Mr Hirst said.
"One of most significant and unique contributions to Victorian communities started in two small towns in Victoria's Wimmera, Rupanyup and Minyip, the birthplaces of the first Community Bank® branches.
"A movement that restored banking services to rural town after major banks left in the 1990's, Community Bank® branches today are located in more than 140 metropolitan and regional Victorian communities, returning $95 million in profits to fund projects that support economic and social sustainability.
"Industries vital to Victoria's social and economic prosperity have received funding, including Sport ($22 million), Infrastructure ($7.1 million), Education ($6.2 million), Health ($3 million), Youth ($5.9 million), and Arts/Culture ($2.3 million), and this contributes to the $165 million returned to Australian communities in total," Mr Hirst said.
Some of Bendigo Bank's contributions to Victoria include;
- Melbourne community groups and not-for-profits have access to important grant funds through Connected Communities Melbourne, a philanthropic body that aims to support the local grassroots projects and those that address important social issues across Melbourne.
- In a world first, The Deakin University Community Bank® Initiative was established in 2016, a unique banking service that will return profits to the Deakin University community for programs and capital projects. 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 important projects.
- The Bank's Scholarship Program is one of the largest privately funded scholarship programs in Australia. Now in its tenth year, the program has provided more than $6.2 million in funding to about 550 university students.
- Bendigo Bank customers have raised more than $2.6 million since the launch of the RSPCA Rescue credit card in 2005, with contributions helping to fund the RSPCA's Adoptapet program.
- Bendigo Bank and AFL Central Victoria signed a three-year partnership in 2017, making Bendigo Bank the major partner of the six associations incorporating junior and senior football and netball affiliated with AFL Central Victoria, and adding to the more than $1 million invested into local Central Victorian sporting groups this year.
- Bendigo Bank's extensive Victorian branch network supports the work of Samuel Johnson and Love Your Sister, most recently being a collection points for the Big Heart Project donations. The Big Heart Project have overnight announced a final tally of more than $2.5 million.
"Our Bank is very proud to receive this award today, which recognises our strong and valued brand, our commitment to great customer service and our role in the communities in which we operate," Mr Hirst said.
"We have a deeply entrenched customer focused culture, and we have always sought to build an environment to help our customers be successful and have done this well resulting in the Bank being consistently recognised for having the highest customer advocacy in the industry.
"Our actions in delivering on this promise are real and there for all to see," he said.