When the only bank in the Beaconsfield closed its doors earlier this year, the community, already struggling with the Coronavirus Pandemic, was faced with an added struggle.
Local banking services are incredibly important to the community and is relied upon heavily by residents and businesses.
Luckily, following extensive work by a community group, spearheaded by Janie Finlay, Beaconsfield once again has a local bank.
This weekend saw the grand opening of the new Bendigo Bank Agency in Beaconsfield.
Housed in the Beaconsfield H Hardware store, this agency will provide locals with banking services, and advice the ‘old fashioned way’ with a strong focus on customer service.
“The people here responded to the fact that they lost their only bank,” Said Martyn Neville, the Regional Manager of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank in Tasmania, “A really good group of volunteers approached us and worked really hard to get community interest.”
“It was really driven by the people, which is fantastic.”
“The confidence that gave us, we pushed ahead with the agency idea which is basically a business within the business, so Lisa Goss and the Home Hardware business here, she now has another part of her business which is the agency.” Said Mr Neville.
The Bendigo Bank Agency has only just opened, but Mr Neville said the community has already shown a lot of support.
“Leading up to the opening, over the last few months we’ve had lots of people already open accounts and move their banking across to us.”
“We’ve got all our specialists, whether it be home loan lenders or business lenders, they can come and talk to customers, and they’re already talking to quite a few people about moving their loans across as well.” Said Mr Neville.
The addition of the bank agency to the Hardware store has meant that staff have undergone training to be able to work in the banking system.
“This is all under the banks licence, so they have to follow all of the banks rules, the government regulations and privacy is really important to us, so there’s really stringent privacy controls in place as well so our customers are really safe and their privacy is respected.” Said Mr Neville.
Mr Neville also said that the more the community support the bank agency, the more things they can do.
“We’ve already given a donation of $750 to the rascal robots program, and the money raised today at the opening is going to the Beaty Point Tigers.”
Speaking to Tamar Valley News about the opening, Janie Finlay said that from day one, it’s exciting.
“It is a feeling of masses of pride, but there’s also this gratitude for the fact that Bendigo Bank came to the call and delivered for the community.”
The work is not over yet though said Ms Finlay.
“The community demonstrated that they had a complete expectation that they would have great, face-to-face, old fashioned service, and it’s here now so we encourage everyone to support the investment that’s been made by the hardware store, and the support of Bendigo Bank, and get behind the team that’s supporting the community.
The Bendigo Bank Agency inside of the Beaconsfield H Hardware Store will be open 3 days a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.