Business success and community wellbeing align in unique banking model

Society is redefining community and prioritising opportunities, and the most successful businesses will collaborate, listen and respond.

That's the word from Bendigo Bank, whose unique banking model - Community Bank® - empowers communities across Australia to be sustainable and prosper through the revenue stream of a locally-operated bank.

The Bank's major expression of the Shared Value concept, the foundation of success for the Community Bank® model is that it seeks to improve outcomes for all its stakeholders, said Managing Director Mike Hirst.

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

"The Shared Value concept is now gaining global momentum, although it has been central to our Bank's strategy for its entire 160 year history.

"When the Community Bank® model was established in 1998, it was intended that the profits generated by those Community Bank® companies would be returned to local community initiatives that would benefit all members of that community.

"This still remains fundamental to the model, and there are 316 Community Bank® branches that operate in this way. But as communities define themselves beyond geographic boundaries, we ask, how can the profits generated be used collectively to help communities to realise shared goals?

"And as technology continues to revolutionise banking, what role can Community Bank® branches play to help customers and communities benefit from these advancements?"

These are two of the topics for Bendigo Bank and its Community Bank® partners at their Annual National conference today in Adelaide.

Evolution: The changing face of (community) banking will explore the role banking can play in the future, how to embrace disruption and change, and continue to co-create solutions to address societal changes and challenges.

"The communities in which we operate live the change a bank can make, and collaboration is a key ingredient in helping local people create the places they want to live in," Mr Hirst said.

"Almost twenty years ago, Community Bank® companies were established to provide banking in a face to face sense, but with changing technology, it's important we harness the power of the model in new ways so that local communities can continue to develop the capability and resources to improve their own sustainability, grow and be resilient.

"We're excited of the continued prospects of this banking model for everyone connected with our business," he said.

Fast facts

Bendigo Bank's Community Bank® model has returned more than $165 million returned to Australian communities since 1998.

In South Australia, 14 Community Bank® branches have returned about $6.5 million in profits to local communities since 2000.  Industries vital to social and economic prosperity have received funding, including Sport ($1.1 million), Infrastructure ($900,000), Education ($200,000), Health ($300,000), Youth ($300,000) and Arts/Culture ($100,000).

Bendigo Bank has received a number of awards and accolades, including:

  • Rated #1 bank in the Mozo People’s Choice Award 2017
  • Most satisfied customers, according to Roy Morgan research
  • Top Australian company in the FORTUNE 2017 Annual "Change the World" List of Companies That Are Doing Well By Doing Good
  • Named Australia’s best non-major business bank in the 2017 RFI Group Australian Business Banking Awards

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