On 8 December 2009, the Pyrmont Community Bank® Branch was officially opened by Mr Russell Jenkins, Executive Customer and Community, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank; City of Sydney Councillor, Marcelle Hoff, and Mr Bruce Napthali, Chairman of City West Community Financial Services.
The Pyrmont Community Bank®Branch is the 250th Community Bank®branch to be opened in Australia. Mr Jenkins told the gathering that the Bendigo Community Bank®model started in country towns of Victoria in 1998 and has since spread to regional centres throughout Australia. More recently, the growth has extended to suburbs and capital cities. The branch at Pyrmont is the first within central Sydney.
Mr. Jenkins spoke of how after 12 years of Community Bank®trading, not one branch has closed and that Community Bank®branches have already granted millions of dollars to community organisations and projects.
Councillor Marcelle Hoff congratulated the Pyrmont Community Bank®Board and before them, the original steering committee, on the outcome achieved. Councillor Hoff was very aware of the hard work that had gone into the project.
Deputy Lord Mayor, City of Sydney prepares to cut the ribbon at the Pyrmont Community Bank® Branch opening ceremony
“This type of endeavour pulls communities together; and brings benefits, both socially and financially, engendering pride in our community and promoting socially responsible behaviour.”
Chairman Bruce Napthali thanked the team for working so intently for two years to see the project through to opening. Many of those who worked to achieve this outcome are now members of the Board of Directors and will continue to work to ensure the second objective of profitability.
Mr Napthali said a solid share of the profits to be generated by the branch will stay in the communities of Pyrmont and Ultimo via grants to community based non profit organisations, and as shareholder dividends.
The branch opened its doors for business three days later, on 11 December 2009, and has been trading for six days a week since. The increasingly popular, externally located ATM has been open 24/7 since the time of opening.
The branch provides all the facilities offered by major banks, but there are some important differences and benefits of banking with the Pyrmont Community Bank® Branch.