Successful models of community banks have appeared in over 200 towns, suburbs and cities across Australia in recent years, coinciding, not by coincidence with the ongoing rationalisation of the major banks’ branch networks. Boorowa is the nearest example, and a very good one, of a town that has visibly benefited from the injection of 80% of its Bendigo Community Bank’s profit into the town and community facilities.
Most residents would have seen committee members as volunteers on Saturday mornings with a stall in Gaskill Street, inviting locals to fill out a pledge form, thereby expressing their interest in buying a few hundred, or up to 50,000 one dollar shares in the bank which could become a reality once $750,000 has been reached in total pledges. From that point in time, a thorough feasibility study and business plan would be prepared, facilitated by Bendigo Adelaide Bank Ltd. People, who have pledged, having read the business plan or prospectus, would then be invited to commit the funds they had pledged by purchasing their shares.
Bendigo Bank staff, monitoring the growth of pledges at Canowindra are concerned that it is taking so long to get close to the target figure of $750,000 and there is a veiled threat that their support for the project might be withdrawn sooner than later if the target is not reached soon.
To date, almost $320,000 has been pledged by 148 people, ranging from $100 to $15,000 with a good number around $5000 each. We are nearly half way, so we need (a), more pledges or (b), existing pledges to be increased in order to reach the target. Pledge forms are available from Bill Paul’s Carpet Centre or from the Canowindra Phoenix office. Anyone interested in learning more about the proposal can ring Bill Paul 0408555874, Cheryl Newsom 0411211065 or Richard Statham 0429443215.