What we do and who we are
In the late 1990s, banks were withdrawing services from communities across Australia in the pursuit of economic rationalism and greater efficiency. The problem with this strategy is that local communities were being left without the critical economic and financial services needed to keep communities vibrant, and both individuals and businesses struggled to manage financial and banking needs with extended travel and further inconvenience.
With the withdrawal announced in 2000 of the last full branch of a bank operating in Harbord, the community decided to do something about it, and called a public meeting. From this meeting a Steering Group of local people were formed to begin the challenge of raising the profile of an opportunity for a Community Bank® through Bendigo Bank Limited and to gain sufficient financial pledges of support from the community to make it happen. Harbord Financial Services Limited was incorporated and the Steering Committee formed the inaugural Board of Directors to oversee the implementation of the branch.
On June 15th, 2002, Freshwater Community Bank® Branch of Bendigo Bank opened at 20 Albert Street Harbord.We’re going from strength to strength and now have a viable and strong business at the branch with our franchise partners. Through all our changes, we retain the same corporate values and customer focus as the original intention of a fully integrated community bank.