In opening the BalnarringCommunity Bank® branch in June 2008, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank's Chief Executive of Retail Banking‚ Mike Hirst‚ said it was fitting that the 400th branch be a Community Bank® branch.
"There are 212 Community Bank® branches Australia-wide‚ opened and run by communities dedicated to improving banking services and outcomes for their local region‚" he said.
"Community Bank® branches have not only returned banks to communities where services were withdrawn‚ they have proven themselves to be viable businesses capable of returning revenue to be reinvested back into the community."
Since the first Community Bank® branches opened in Rupanyup and Minyip in June 1998‚ more than $18 million dollars has been returned to communities and invested in local projects.
"Behind those numbers are hundreds of stories of Community Bank® branches making a real difference to the lives of local people‚" Mr Hirst said.
"Whether it's building a community hall‚ sponsoring an art prize or even buying new footy jumpers for the local side‚ these Community Bank® branches are helping improve the economic and social prospects of their local communities."
"Add to those contributions the employment and daily spend in the local economy and you have a truly meaningful contribution to local prosperity‚" he said.
Chairman of Balnarring & District Community Services Limited‚ Don Campbell‚ said he looked forward to the day when the branch would return profits to shareholders and locals.
"The community has worked hard to establish our Community Bank® branch. It will be a focus for local businesses and residents‚ and become a community asset we can all be proud of."
"We look forward to serving the Balnarring community and its neighbours. We now need everyone in the district to get behind our Community Bank® branch, open accounts‚ and support those who are supporting the community‚" he said.
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