Bendigo comes under credit union attack

Several credit unions have criticised Bendigo Bank’s community bank scheme. Bendigo Bank has opened 26 community bank branches in rural areas since 1998 and plans to increase this number to 50 by the end of 2001. Under the scheme, Bendigo Bank offers their products in return for a licensing fee and is free from any business risk. Head of Holiday Coast Credit Union, Mr Neville Parsons warned that community banks were not run by finance professionals making it more perilous since the community were the ones that would have to carry any risks. Mr Parsons also accused Bendigo Bank of trying to invade into a market where other retail banking providers are already established. However, Bendigo Bank claims that they are merely responding to community requests for more branches.