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31 May 2001

Community Bank Update

As reported exclusively in last week's issue of this paper, the local Rotary Club is further investigating the viability of a local Branch of the well-knownBendigo Community Bank.

In a small community like ours, there is always the fear that the big banks find it prudent to close down their branches in country towns if the "numbers jockeys" at head office consider that the so-called "BigPicture" permits them to do so. Generally, the needs of the communities are not of any great consideration.

This is borne out by the closures of so many country bank branches, even in larger and more prosperous towns.

This is precisely the reason that Community Banks have become so popular, as they are locally owned and a fair portion of the profit stays in the town, partly for the shareholders, and partly for community projects and charities.

Our enquiries have shown that the prerequisites are strict, but perhaps attainable. It seems that a total deposit of approximately $400,000 is required. Apparently, they like a lot of small investors, such as perhaps 800 persons with $500 each. It seems that the maximum investment allowable for any one person is$5000.

About $260,000 of the total is put towards working capital, while $50,000 will pay for five years franchise fees, $30,000 is for start-up assistance, and a further $30,000 is for training of employees etc. The balance is available for suitable premises, furnishings,etc. The agreement runs for 15 years on a 5x5x5 basis.

We had been approached for assistance in this matter by a local, Mr Noel Lewis. He will be attending the regular Rotary Club meeting/dinner next Monday,June 4 at 6.45pm, at the restaurant of the Motor Village. Any interested person is most welcome to attend

- There is no obligation. It is an opportunity to meet the members of the local Rotary Club, and also findout more about the viability of the Community Bank.

Publicity, Herman Kreller

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