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Community & Business

14 April, 2023

Here to stay: Gil’s Bendigo Bank opens new branch in their own building

Bank closures have become the norm for country towns, so it’s both gratifying and exciting to see a bank branch open.

By Emily Middleton

Moving just a few doors down on Miller Street, Gilgandra’s revamped Bendigo Bank branch officially commenced at its new premises last week. A crowd formed outside the former Commonwealth Bank building — previously purchased by the Bendigo Bank board — with original board members, current staff, and interested locals, gathering to celebrate this new beginning. With the closing down of many bank branches in the regions, this success story is a testament to the Gilgandra community.

Chair of Gilgandra Financial Services, Julie Prout, spoke about the history of Bendigo Bank in Gilgandra, explaining that, without the steering committee and the dedication of a handful of locals, the bank wouldn’t be where it was today.

“Prior to 2005, a group of local residents, concerned by the withdrawal of banking services by the traditional banks, came together to consider ways to guarantee the availability of financial services within our community,” Mrs Prout said.

From there, their considerations resulted in a decision to establish a Bendigo Bank in Gilgandra, utilising the Community Bank model. Funds had to be raised by way of shares, and the entering into a franchise agreement with Bendigo Bank to operate a branch in Gilgandra.

“The Community Bank model is based on the philosophy that a percentage of profit is returned...

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