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Victorian Securities joins Bendigo Bank Group

7 September 1999 |Media centre

Ballarat-based investment company Victorian Securities Corp will become part of the Bendigo Bank group.

As part of the agreement, Bendigo Bank is committed to retain and grow the business in Ballarat.

Bendigo Bank Group Managing Director Rob Hunt Hunt and Victorian Securities Chairman Murray Byrne jointly announced the agreement today.

"This represents a major commitment to Ballarat and further enhances our regional focus," Mr Hunt said.

"Bendigo Bank in recent years has steadily built its presence in Ballarat, with branches in the city and at Wendouree and two online agencies.

"Victorian Securities adds another string to our bow and over time we expect the business to grow and be a major supporter of Ballarat and western district communities."

Under the terms of the arrangement, Bendigo Bank will pay the shareholders of Victorian Securities $4.5 million cash and one million Bendigo Bank shares to acquire the $85 million investment company, which was started almost half-a-century ago to support the needs of country people.

Victorian Securities will continue to operate from its Chancery Lane premises in Ballarat, with current staff continuing to service customer needs.

"It's business as usual for existing clients,"Mr Byrne said.

"Over time, though, they can expect to be offered a greater range of services, as we will be able to provide Bendigo Bank-backed products and services."

Mr Byrne said present directors of Victorian Securities would be either directors of the newly-formed company or would be on a Ballarat advisory board.

"Both parties see the continuing involvement of key local people as being paramount to realising Victorian Securities' growth potential,"Mr Hunt and Mr Byrne said.

Mr Hunt said the company would broaden Bendigo Bank's options for both investments and lending.

"We are looking to expand the existing operations of Victorian Securities by using the Bank's strength and distribution network,"he said.

"The Company has grown consistently over the years and both parties expect this growth to accelerate in the new structure."

Mr Hunt said the relationship with Victorian Securities marked an important milestone in Bendigo Bank's commitment to increase its support for Western Victoria.

"We do not have a history of strong representation in western Victoria and we intend to remedy that. We have already announced our intention to open a branch in Horsham and expect to make further announcements shortly.

"Ballarat is a key plank in that strategy."

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