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AnnualReviewWecontinuetopursuejointventurepartnershipswithgroupsthatprovidespecialisedproductsandservices.HomeSafeSolutionsassistsseniorAustraliansthroughitsDebtFreeEquityReleaseproductandCommunitySectorBankingexclusivelyservicestheneedsofthenot-for-protsector.Meanwhileourwholly-ownedsubsidiaryOxfordFundingprovidesdebtornanceforbusinesseswithVictorianSecuritiesaspecialistinresidentialandcommerciallending.Wevefocussedonmakingthebusinessmorerobust.Thishasbeenachievedthroughconservativeriskmanagementpracticeslow-riskfundingandbalancesheetstructuresoundcapitalratiosandasustainedimprovementinprotability.Ourworkinthisareahasbeenwell-receivedandrecognised.InMayFitchRatingsAgencyupgradedtheBanktoA-makingustherstAustralianbankandoneoffewgloballytoreceiveanupgradesincetheGFC.ThenamonthlaterStandardPoorsputourBBBratingonpositiveoutlookforanupgradetoA-.OurnewratingspositiontheBankwellforfuturegrowthinpartbyreducingthecostofourwholesaleborrowing.Ifwecontinuetoperformwellimproveourprotabilityandcreditthenwefeelcondentfurthercreditratingupgradesshouldfollow.Throughoutallofthishardworkandsuccesseachofushasmadeaconcertedefforttobeapartofoneteamreachingforthesamegoal.ThiscametotheforeduringtheQueenslandoodswhenstafffromrightacrossAustraliapulledtogetherworkingextendedhoursandperformingextraordinarydutiestomakesureourcustomersandstaffintheoodzoneweresupported.ThesamespiritofcommunitywasevidentduringtheVictorianoodsandCycloneYasi.BeingAustraliasleadingcustomer-connectedbankisthevisionthatdriveseachandeveryoneofusandwhilewehavemadehugestridestowardsachievingthiswereconstantlyraisingthebarandunderstandwecanalwaysdomoretohelpourcustomersandsupportourcommunities.Ourstrengthcomesfromourfocusonthesuccessofourcustomerspeoplepartnersandcommunities.Webelievewehaveamarket-beatingstrategyanethosthatsetsusapartfromothersandapointofdifferencethatcannotbegenuinelyreplicated.Wetakea100-yearviewofthebusinesswemakedecisionsforthelong-termandunderstandthatweholdaprivilegedpositionasthestewardsofa153-year-oldinstitutionthathasbecomefarmorethanjustanotherbank.Welistentoourcustomersbecauseifwecanunderstandwhatourcustomerswantandhelpthemtoachieveitthenwewillberelevantconnectedandvalued.Ourabilitytoforgepartnershipsisuniquetousanddifferentiatesusfromotherbanks.Wemustbuildonthisstrengthandleverageittoensuretheprosperityofourbusinessandthecustomersandcommunitiesweserve.Ifwedothesethingsanddothemwellourbusinesswillcontinuetobesuccessfulandwewillbewell-positionedtoseizefutureopportunities.ThisisanexcitingtimeforBendigoandAdelaideBank.Welookforwardtobuildingonthisstrongmomentumandsharingoursuccesswithyouoursupporters.Werealsogrowingourbusinessinotherways.InDecemberwenalisedourpurchaseofRuralBankamovethatprovidesuswithgreaterexposuretoawell-performingbusinesswithsoundcreditqualityandstrongreturns.AndRuralBankisalreadymakingmovesinthemarketplaceannouncingitsintentioninAugust2011tojoinforceswithAustraliaPosttodistributebankingservicesviaregionalandruralpostofces.ThedealwillseesomeRuralBankproductsandservicesmadeavailableatselectedpostaloutletsfromlateNovember2011.Theroll-outwillstartinNewSouthWaleswiththeofferingtobeavailableat1400postofcesacrossthecountryby2013.ImportantlythisreinforcesourcommitmenttoruralandregionalAustraliaandfurtherenhancesourpositionastherstbankingalternativetothemajorbanks.ClickHeretowatchavideomessagefromMikeHirst.mustbeonlineManagingDirectorManagingDirector201107MikeHirstMikeHirst