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700 visitors to attend Community Bank® national conference in Darwin


5/09/2014

More than 700 visitors will descend on Darwin next week for the 2014 National Conference of Bendigo Bank's Community Bank® network.

This is the first time the Northern Territory will host the annual conference, which recognises the achievements of the innovative Community Bank® model.

Bendigo Bank's Executive Community Engagement, Robert Musgrove, said the two-day conference was expected to deliver the Territory a million-dollar-plus injection.

"Ninety-five per cent of participants are interstate visitors and many are taking the opportunity to stay on and see what the Territory has to offer."

Mr Musgrove said this year's conference attendees would be updated on a review of Community Banking.

"The first 15 years of Community Bank® was a phenomenal success and the review aims to position it for the next 15."

Mr Musgrove said Bendigo Bank had opened more than 300 Community Bank® branches in that time – taking the Bank's total branch network to nearly 500, including five branches in the Territory.

"The first growth phase was sparked initially because of communities looking to replace banks that had shut down, but we believe the next phase will be driven by towns and suburbs looking to replicate the community investments flowing from locally owned banking," he said.

"Already, the Community Bank® network has invested $125 million generated by local banking profits, and that figure is a lot higher once matching government grants are taken into account.

"But behind these impressive figures are the inspiring community stories that emerge.

"Within the Territory, profits have supported financial and literacy classes for children with Down's Syndrome, sports equipment to junior clubs, a school vegetable garden to support student meals, and support for multicultural and arts activities.

"Bendigo Bank and Katherine Community Bank® Branch are also working with the Katherine community and Cancer Council NT to bring specialised cancer treatment and support services to the town.

"All proceeds from our business lunch on Monday September 8 will be donated to Cancer Council NT."

700 visitors to attend Community Bank® national conference in Darwin

Background

Community Bank® branches are owned by local shareholders. Bendigo Bank provides the banking infrastructure and products and shares banking revenue with the community company. Community profits are retained for local initiatives and to pay local shareholder dividends.