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Kyabram community bank target close

Town close to securing Bendigo Bank

June 25, 2014 3:40am

Kyabram people are getting closer to their goal of establishing a Bendigo Bank branch in their town.

Community bank steering committee chairman Vince Curtis said the committee had already raised $793000 in pledged shareholding from 212 pledges.

The aim is to raise $950000 from 300 pledges.

‘‘We’re getting very close now, we’re looking very closely at a couple of sites and we’ll soon have the funding in place for the extensive feasibility study,’’ Mr Curtis said.

‘‘The study will be undertaken by an external consultancy group and they will be getting feedback from the community as to what their thoughts are about the Bendigo Bank community bank model.’’

Mr Curtis said he expected Bendigo Bank’s management to approve the study, which would allow the committee to generate a prospectus and convert the pledges into cash.

Once that was done, the committee would look at fitting out a site and employing staff.

He said with the continued support of the community the committee aimed to open the Kyabram Community Branch in the first half of next year.

‘‘We still require more people to pledge so we reach our required target to get this off the ground,’’ he said.

‘‘A minimum of $500 is all that is required to pledge and we welcome as many people who can afford this to get on board. The total pledges we can accept is capped so get on board so you don’t miss out.’’

Mr Curtis said the most important thing was people who were interested in moving their banking businesses over did so right away.

‘‘If we open the doors and have zero banking on the books, it’ll take a number of years before we’re making a profit and a number of years before we can pay dividends or give out grants,’’ he said.

Mr Curtis said the community bank would bring many benefits to Kyabram residents.

‘‘Given the series of hits the town has taken with SPC, the Heinz factory and of course Banksia (Financial Group) closing down, it’ll be one huge confidence boost.

‘‘It will give the town the opportunity to take control of its own destiny in the way people who are doing their banking will be able to contribute to and keep profits in the local community.’’

Mr Curtis said there was already talk of what projects the community bank could fund.

‘‘For instance, a new aquatic centre or town hall restoration of the Northern Oval, right down to the sponsorship of community groups and sporting clubs,’’ he said.

‘‘Community banks right across Australia have a history of tipping huge contributions into their local communities.’’

Mr Curtis said people who wanted to open an account should phone Bendigo Bank or visit an existing branch and quote the branch number 72150.

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