The role of our bank is to feed into prosperity, not off it.
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is often lauded for its social responsibility because of our work with communities – almost as if we have tacked a social conscience on to our business strategy. But working for the benefit of our customers and their communities is our business strategy.
It makes sense - you cannot run a successful business in an unsuccessful community. Therefore, if we can help communities to prosper, then we will have strengthened our markets. And if Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is an essential part of the community fabric, then we are more likely to be supported and to build a sustainable business.
Our approach begins with listening. How do local leaders see their community growing? What are their problems? Can Bendigo and Adelaide Bank help them address these threats and opportunities?
Often we can do so by finding ways to secure banking access. But increasingly we are finding other ways to help, too.
We have been able to build a number of successful business models built on simple methods - encourage local people to commit to buying their services through a company committed to retaining at least some of its earnings in their community.
To date, we have contributed $183M back into the communities we serve.