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300 communities with a $110 million reasons to celebrate


6/03/2014

The community of Port Sorell in Tasmania is now home to Bendigo Bank's 300th Community Bank branch.

Port Sorell joins a network of community-owned and run branches that have collectively returned more than $110 million to the communities in which they operate.

Speaking at the opening, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank's Executive Community Engagement, Robert Musgrove, said Community Banking has revolutionised Australia's banking system.

"The Community Bank model was introduced to Australian communities in 1998 by Bendigo Bank. At the time it was working with rural communities seeking to return banking services to their towns.

"The concept quickly translated to suburban and urban communities, as people living in capital cities also saw the value in partnering with our Bank to establish their own branch and keep about half the revenue made off their banking business.

"Community Banking is the ultimate example of a win/win partnership - the communities we partner with keep a share of the money made from their banking business and secure an income stream that empowers them to improve the places they live.

"And our Bank has significantly expanded and strengthened its retail network and connect with many new customers who recognise the efforts we make to share prosperity," said Mr Musgrove.

Community Banking has been very popular in Tasmania, where eight branches have already been established with a further six communities working to open their own branch.
Port Sorell District Community Bank Chairman Jack Van Tatenhove, said his community was excited about finally establishing banking services in the town and generating money for community strengthening activities.

"We're a growing community and it's great to think Bendigo Bank and the community want to work together to open a bank in Port Sorell so we can make this town the best it can be.

"Other Community Bank branches around Australia have done some pretty amazing things with the revenue earned. They've built multi-million dollar community hubs, funded scholarships for uni students and purchased buses to ensure people can get around.

"We'll be listening to the people of Port Sorell to determine which causes our Community Bank company should support," Mr Van Tatenhove said.
Mr Musgrove said the success of the Community Bank network is testament to the effort and dedication of the communities that operate and support them.

"We have almost 2000 Community Bank directors who volunteer their time to run their company. They're supported by more than 1500 staff, 71,000 shareholders and many more customers who share the vision of using banking to make their community more successful.

"They're a driving force behind the network. These milestones have been made possible by their hard work and the support of the people who bank with their local Community Bank branch," Mr Musgrove said.

For more information on the Community Bank model visit www.bendigobank.com.au