BENDIGO Bank’s unique Community Bank model is celebrating 25 years of community owned and operated banking, in Australia.
The internationally acclaimed model has grown from a concept designed to empower communities at risk of losing face-to-face banking services, to a network of more than 300 branches nationally – including Cannonvale – with $20bn in loans and $31.3bn in deposits.
Founded in 1998 with branches in Rupanyup and Minyip (Victoria), the secret to its success can be traced back to the profit-with-a-purpose model, which sees a majority of the profits generated by each independently owned and operated Community Bank directed back into the community.
Community Bank Cannonvale-Proserpine chair Mark Henry thanked the bank’s customers for their support, its team members for delivering quality service, the shareholders for backing the Whitsundays community, and all the passionate local directors, past and present, for their hard work and dedication.
“We would like to congratulate Bendigo Bank and Community Bank Rupanyup and Minyip, in Victoria, on their 25th anniversary,” he said.
“The important steps they took made it possible for communities like ours, and many others, to take charge of our future.
“In the Whitsundays, we were delighted to open our own Community Bank on June 10, 2012, with the support of local shareholders, who saw the value to the community in this model of banking.
“In the past 11 years, Community Bank Cannonvale-Proserpine has returned more than $200,000 in sponsorships and grants to the community.
“These donations have supported the region’s schools, sporting groups, arts and culture events, conservation initiatives, and Show Whitsunday prizes.”
Collectively, the Community Bank model is on track to return a total of $300m in profits in its anniversary year, since inception.
Community Bank funding often attracts co-investors such as local, state and federal governments, creating a multiplier effect on the capital raised, which has enabled projects totalling over an estimated $1bn.
Community Bank National Council chair Sarah Franklyn said the milestone was a ringing endorsement of the profit-with-purpose, social enterprise model.
She thanked the Community Enterprises that operate the branches, as they continue working together to ensure the model’s future success.