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History of the Branch: 2003-2023

20 years supporting our community

In 2003, a new community bank opened at the shops in North Epping, as part of the Bendigo Bank community model.

It was the result of much planning and hard work by local residents who wanted a retail bank conveniently located in the residential area. Founding Chairperson, Geoff Grimley, recalls that it all happened as bit of a protest. “I had read about Bendigo Bank establishing community banks for rural districts due to closures of the majors. The light came on. I spoke to them about what it was all about, and that is what we required for our community”, he remembers. 

Over several years, they raised awareness of community banking, and gathered the necessary support and capital to start the branch. More than 200 locals bought shares and many are still key stakeholders to this day.

These pioneers not only wanted to bank locally but were also driven by the aim to see profits given back to the community through a grants program. This is a key point of difference for the community banking model.

The branch quickly established strong roots in the local area. It grew relationships, with financial support, across a range of local sporting and cultural organisations, the local schools and churches.

It was an honour to help start the Bendigo Bank for the people of Epping. It was a hard slog, however very gratifying to see it support the various groups in the district. We were fortunate to have a good base of locals to steer the bank to fruition.

Geoff Grimley, founding Chairperson

Branching into Epping

10 years after its founding, the branch made the move to larger premises on the corner of Oxford Street in Epping. This gave the branch a new identity as Epping Community Bank, and a much larger retail presence as the suburb began its transformation into a high-density area. It came as the branches of other banks started to close in Epping, leaving the area with reduced banking services.

In 2017, the branch moved across the road to its current home at 2 Pembroke Street. It is now the only retail bank left in Epping and with the pandemic and growth in digital banking, the branch is quieter than it used to be. But Bendigo customers value personal service, the chance to talk through loans and deposits face to face, and the convenience of ‘just popping in’. 

Giving Back

From its earliest days, the bank supported local charitable bodies through grants and sponsorship. Across Epping sports fields and schools, service clubs and churches, events and celebrations have been made possible through our grants program. Whilst the program slowed during the pandemic, it now has renewed energy and will support more organisations than ever.

So, in 2023 it is fitting that we achieve another milestone when we reach $2 million returned to the community through these projects.

The Personal Touch

A hallmark of our bank is the relationship with customers and a deep knowledge of Epping and its surrounds. The branch has only had two managers in its history (Sharyn Hubert and Stephen Hu) and has long-serving staff members Karen Lee (19 years), Junie Kanlapan (11 years) and Julie Garlic (4 years).  

EDFS Newsletter

Autumn 2024

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