The true pioneers of a world first banking model were the farming towns of Rupanyup and Minyip in Victoria's wheat belt. The two country towns had always enjoyed the full services of six banks with up to four generations of families in the area remaining loyal to their family's traditional bank.
But in recent years that all changed. The banks left and the two towns were left to struggle on their own. Traders‚ farmers and residents were forced into a 100-kilometre round trip to do their everyday banking.
It was obvious to the communities that they were going to struggle to survive. Businesses were closing and families were leaving‚ including the future of Rupanyup and Minyip‚ their youth.
The tightly knit communities decided something had to be done. By joining forces with Bendigo Bank they created a banking service‚ which became a pilot for a Community Bank®.
The Rupanyup/Minyip Community Bank® Branch is now well established‚ generating a regular monthly operating surplus of more than $10‚000.
The branch is an example of how the unique banking model can work. The Rupanyup/Minyip catchment has a population of 1100. Of those people‚ 750 have a direct stake in the business‚ a truly community business.
Founding chairman and current director David Matthews said the changes that have emerged from Community Banking are much deeper than the return of banking services.
Rob Hunt and the Bendigo Bank organisation are leading and teaching us how to have greater control over many aspects of our lives.
They are showing us how to harness our strengths and are providing us with the skills and confidence to secure the future of our communities.
And it is all based on using business to achieve positive social change.
Despite the knockers and the cynics‚ the strategy has been an amazing success for Bendigo Bank and for the many communities they are working with.
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.