In 2001‚ a group of residents of the Galston area made contact with Bendigo Bank to ascertain what was involved in setting up and operating a Community Bank® at Galston because of the possible withdrawal of services by the National Australia Bank.
In February 2001‚ NAB announced that it would be closing its doors within six weeks. The Galston Chamber of Commerce held talks with NAB executives and a six-month extension of operation was granted.
At this time a residents meeting nominated a steering committee to gain information as to what support there would be from the community for a Community Bank® .
The community support was indicated to be so strong that a public meeting was called and a feasibility study undertaken.
The results from this study were once again so strong that the company‚ Galston Financial Services Limited was formed‚ the franchise agreement was signed with Bendigo Bank‚ and the operating name of Galston and District Community Bank® Branch was decided upon.
It took a lot of hard work and dedication from the elected board to endure the legal proceedings of setting up the company‚ including fine tuning the franchise agreement and ensuring the accuracy of figures for the prospectus.
To give some continuity of banking while our bank was being prepared‚ an agency was set up at Compass Travel where two of our staff were able to open accounts‚ take cheque deposits and answer questions about Galston and District Community Bank® Branch.
The former NAB building was auctioned on 13 November 2001 and the board deemed it a priority that our bank owned its own premises to give complete control of our future and so we bid at the auction and with the co-operation of the local community‚ we were successful.
The prospectus was issued on 1 December 2001 and the by the end of January 2002‚ the minimum subscription to the prospectus had been filled and a builder appointed. The lower limit of our prospectus was $600‚000 and the upper $900‚000. We reached the lower limit in about eight weeks.
The official opening of our bank‚ the first Community Bank® Branch in Sydney‚ was Sunday 24 March 2002 where the Hon. Philip Ruddock MP officiated.
Galston Community Bank® Branch currently employs seven staff members.
Galston Financial Services Ltd has approximately 280 shareholders.
Our depositors are protected under the Australian Government’s Financial Claims Scheme (FCS) which provides protection and quick access to deposits made with a bank, building society or credit union in the unlikely event that one of these institutions fails. Find out more here.