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Bankís Bendigo branches on the move


Bendigo Bank today announced moves to cement its position as the city’s leading retail bank.

Head of retail banking, Greg Gillett, said the bank would relocate its Williamson Street branch to the high-profile Pall Mall corner currently occupied by Bendigo Books.

The new branch, which will open next year, will be significantly larger than the existing site and will be located on one of the central business district’s most prominent corners.

In the other big change, Bendigo’s sub-branch at Lansell Plaza Shopping Centre will close on 9 January 2004, with service to Kangaroo Flat residents consolidated at the newly expanded High Street branch. This means Bendigo Bank will have major branches in the city’s south (Kangaroo Flat), west (Eaglehawk), north (White Hills) and east (Strath Hill), as well as three CBD branches at Fountain Court, Mitchell Street and Williamson Street.

“ The new branches are large and spacious and enable us to provide a full range of consumer and business banking as well as financial planning services,” Mr Gillett said. “Wherever we go in Australia we find that our customers respond favorably to these branches being located in the natural heart of their community and this is the approach we are adopting across our network.”

Mr Gillett said the bank had been reluctant to close the Lansell Plaza sub-branch. “We acknowledge some people will be inconvenienced and we apologise for that, but in the end there were only two choices – continue with two make-do premises, or invest our money in creating one full-service branch in the most popular location.”

This decision follows overwhelming customer reaction to the recent expansion of the Kangaroo Flat branch. Staff from Lansell Plaza will move to Kangaroo Flat or other branches within Bendigo as branch staffing continues to grow in line with business growth. The bank will also ensure its customers continue to have access to cash from an ATM at Lansell Plaza.

Mr Gillett said Bendigo Bank had also moved to bolster service elsewhere, with new ATMs installed at Strath Village Shopping Centre and Mt Alvernia Mercy Hospital.

The latest moves follow the recent announcement of a $40 million-plus redevelopment and expansion of the Bank’s existing Fountain Court site to develop a Head Office complex to accommodate more than 600 local staff.

“ Refurbishment and relocation will be the focus for Bendigo Bank in 2004,” Mr Gillett said.

“ These are exciting times for Bendigo Bank and for the City of Greater Bendigo. Not only has the Bank bolstered its commitment to maintaining its head office here in the city but we are also continuing to consolidate our extensive branch network throughout the district.”

Branches at Kangaroo Flat and Eaglehawk have all undergone refurbishments during the past two years.

The decision to relocate the Bank’s Williamson Street branch to the prominent Pall Mall corner will provide staff and customers with a more spacious and comfortable environment in which to work and do their banking.

“ We had really outgrown our branch premises in Williamson Street but acknowledge the importance of maintaining a branch presence in this particular area of the city,” Mr Gillett said.

“ The opportunity to develop the site into a modern and spacious Bendigo Bank branch, with facilities for business bankers and financial planners is one that will be welcomed by staff, and customers.”

Work is expected to begin on the Pall Mall branch in early 2004.