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20 years of progress, customer and community focus remains


Twenty years ago today, Bendigo Building Society, one of Australia's oldest financial institutions, became Australia's newest bank Bendigo Bank.

Chairman Robert Johanson said while the 20th anniversary marked the change from building society to a bank, today's celebration is about something much bigger.

"Our Bank has evolved considerably in the past 20 years, the most significant being the merger between Bendigo Bank and Adelaide Bank in 2007," Mr Johanson said.

"Soon after, the global economy was challenged by the GFC, the most serious financial crisis of our time. We steered our organisation through this challenge, and in fact, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank was the only Australian bank not to use the Government guarantee for funding and one of the first globally, to receive a ratings upgrade post the onset of the GFC.

"We've welcomed margin lending business, Leveraged, Rural Bank, Delphi Bank, and Rural Finance to our Group, today becoming an ASX Top 60 listed company, delivering consumer choice and sharing and creating sustainable outcomes."

Mr Johanson said a commitment to supporting customer needs and building community partnerships had formed a strong foundation for shared success.

"We believe that businesses can add value to communities by addressing financial, social and environmental impacts as part of core business strategy, and we believe we must share the value that our business helps to create," he said.

"The concept of shared value underpins our organisation, and today we celebrate a unique value proposition that has been much more than 20 years in the making."

Last week, the 311th Community Bank in the Perth suburb of Kwinana opened its doors, a reminder of the strength and relevance of the Group's unique banking model, said Managing Director, Mike Hirst.

"The Community Bank network is operated by more than 2,000 volunteer directors, 1,500 staff, 73,000 shareholders and many more customers who share the vision of creating sustainable communities," he said.

"We understand that our success is directly linked to the success of our partners, staff, shareholders and communities, and to remain relevant to customers across decades, you must listen and respond to their evolving needs.

"We have built excellent products that make life a lot easier for our customers, and our mobile payments solutions and digital relationship tools are right up there with the best."

In 2015, Bendigo Bank was awarded the Roy Morgan Business Bank of the Year Award for the fourth year in a row and Roy Morgan's customer satisfaction research shows its customers are consistently highly satisfied.

The Bank's new business banking advice and education app, miBanker, won the 2015 Victorian iAwards for Financial Services last month.

In May, the Bank also took the top spot among Australia's financial institutions on the Corporate Reputation Index, ranking 7th overall out of 60 companies in products and services, innovation, leadership, performance, governance, citizenship and workplace.

It was also named a BRW Top 50 Innovative Company in 2014 for its innovative retail point of sale mobile payment solution, redy and was invited to showcase redy among 65 world-leading financial innovators at FinovateEurope in London.

"Our business offers a complete financial services customer experience and it's very pleasing tonote that our customers and the community recognise this investment and innovation," Mr Hirst said.

"There are many achievements to celebrate today and many more yet to create, and we will continue to strive to create and share value with everyone connected with our business."

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