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People power restores local banking presence


Calls from Southern suburbs residents to restore local banking services have been successful with the opening of a Bendigo Bank operated centre in Willunga today.

The Willunga Customer Service Centre - the first of its kind and operated by Aldinga Beach Community Bank Branch - will provide full banking services five days a week, following branch closures of other banks earlier this year.

Community Bank Chairman Ron Logan said consultation with local residents and business owners resulted in the right solution for the town. "

The Willunga Customer Service Centre has opened its doors today because the local community wanted to restore a local banking presence," Mr Logan said.

"There has been consultation with a number of groups in Willunga and surrounding areas to understand their banking needs and we've responded to what people are asking for with the Customer Service Centre.

"Opening the Willunga Customer Service Centre today demonstrates how our actions define us more than our words ever will," he said.

Mr Logan said Bendigo Bank's unique Community Bank model was established in response to a growing trend in major banks reducing their branch presence, particularly across regional Australia.

"Sixteen years on, and the initial mission for this unique banking models still remains.

"We continue to discuss the needs of people in metropolitan and regional communities, including restoring local, full service banking facilities and the need for funding infrastructure and education projects, large or small.

"But what our Bank sets out to achieve is bigger than that, because we're interested in the good that money can do.

"When you bank with Aldinga Beach Community Bank Branch, a portion of profits is returned to support local community projects, such as providing funding to Mid Coast Little Athletics to purchase sporting equipment and Generation Together, a mentoring program for local primary school aged children to enhance their social and academic skills through community engagement.

"Banking is about more than just dollars and cents, and bricks and mortar; our Bank feeds into the prosperity of the communities and interest groups to which our customers belong. Without strong communities, we are weakened as individuals and as a society, and are all the poorer for it. "As a part of a nationally operated banking group - Australia's fifth largest - we have a privileged status in the community, but with that comes an obligation to be bigger than just a bank. And we take that obligation seriously."