To the Editor,
The Canowindra Community Bank committee will be making a strong drive with publicity and street stalls during the next few weeks, encouraging residents to sign a pledge to invest in a new locally owned and locally managed bank. The bank will be franchised to this community by Bendigo Bank which is the fifth-largest bank in Australia. Many will remember that a similar attempt was made a few years ago but it failed to get up because the Canowindra and district community was too slow to make sufficient pledges by numbers of applicants and total dollar value.
It is understood that total pledges of $800,000 will induce Bendigo Bank to proceed with the project. Those funds will be the working capital of the new local bank, to be used to establish the shop-front, banking systems and infrastructure and to employ a manager and staff during the start-up period.
To date, a total of roughly $300,000 has been made in pledges by about 80 people. Bendigo Bank considers it very important that the number of people making pledges of whatever amount is maximised, as well of course of achieving the target of $800,000.
So if this new locally owned and operated bank is to become a reality, two things are needed:
(a) More people to make a pledge, forms for which are available at The Canowindra Phoenix, CKC Accountants or Bill Paul’s Carpet Shop.
(b) People who have already pledged might consider increasing their pledge to maximise the chance of the bank being established.
It is widely acknowledged that Canowindra needs a bank open five days per week, especially now that NAB has departed. Strong community support and commitment needs to be made immediately before Bendigo Bank withdraws their offer to support the establishment of a community bank here.