Bank’s progressive strategy recognised with top award for leadership in shared value for Australian communities

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Australia’s most trusted and fifth largest, full service retail bank, has been recognised for its unique approach to addressing societal issues as part of its core business strategy.

The Bank was recognised by the Shared Value Project as the top Organisation to Lead Through Shared Value, with its Community Bank® model as the Bank’s flagship example of Shared Value.

A concept documented by Harvard professors and world-leading business strategists, Michael E. Porter and Mark Kramer, Shared Value recognises the intrinsic link between business strategy and community prosperity.

Accepting the award in Sydney last night, the Bank’s Executive, Engagement Innovation, Robert Musgrove said the conversation about how a corporation can address social issues is changing.

“To many in business, corporate responsibility is about the philanthropic role a business can play in improving environmental and social well-being.  Shared Value is something quite different,” Mr Musgrove said.

"At the heart of Shared Value is the belief that there is a profound connection between business success and community wellbeing; that for a business to prosper, the community it serves must also prosper.

“Through our deep engagement with our customers, and our extensive work in the hundreds of communities in which we operate, we understand how important it is for a business to add value to communities through solving social, economic and environmental issues as part of a business strategy.

“We have often said that banking is not just about the individual but also the many, and you can’t run a successful bank unless your customers succeed and they live in strong, prosperous communities.  This philosophy is embedded deep in our DNA and we firmly believe it’s in the Bank’s interest to invest in creating both.

“The Community Bank® model – our principle expression of Shared Value - shows what customers, communities and corporations can achieve when they come together in a truly reciprocal and mutually beneficial relationship.

"We are enormously proud to receive this award, and we celebrate this recognition with the 1,900 volunteer directors who operate their local Community Bank®branches in the 320 cities, regional communities and country towns, providing investment into infrastructure and services for everyone to use, no matter who they bank with.

“We will be making an announcement very soon as to the revised figure contributed by our Community Bank®branches that will build on the $165 million already invested back into Australian communities since the inception of our unique Community Bank® model”, Mr Musgrove concluded.

The Shared Value award is the latest award to recognise Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s good corporate citizenship.  Last month, the bank was named in the FORTUNE Annual ‘Change the World List of companies that are Doing Well BY Doing Good’ as the top Australian company on the globally acclaimed list.

Background

Bendigo Bank's Community Bank® model is unlike any other banking model.

The Community Bank® concept was developed as community angst grew when Australia’s major banks reduced their branch presence by about 30 percent in the 1990’s, leaving many regional towns and suburbs without a local banking presence. This event sowed the seeds for a response to a pressing economic and social need; to retain local capital in the community by restoring a local banking presence.

Bendigo Bank created the Community Bank® model with the genuine belief that all Australians are entitled to receive quality banking services, products and specialist financial advice, no matter where they live. But what began as an alternative banking model has today become a network of people and communities taking greater control of their financial futures, investing something of themselves to shore up the prosperity and sustainability of the place they call home.

Almost 20 years on, Community Bank® branches have injected more than $165 million in profits, contributing to the social and economic sustainability of more than 316 Australian communities. The model requires partnerships with local people and community enterprises to provide communities with quality banking services, employment opportunities, a local investment option for shareholders, and importantly, a source of revenue for projects determined by local people.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank provides the banking infrastructure and licensing requirements, while the community runs the branch and generates valuable funds to invest back into their community.

See below how the Community Bank® model is delivering for Australian communities:

'Be the Change' (short videos) How Bendigo Bank gives back

Bendigo Bank Communities

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