Revive & Thrive are very pleased to have provided all the start up branding and marketing by their in-house team for Community Junction – a radical new banking project.
As a key strategic partner of Community Junction, Revive & Thrive is increasing its involvement in the company and is very keen that all of its members consider the rare opportunity that community owned banking will bring. Please read on to see how your community might get involved and perhaps even get a trip to Australia out of it!
Community Junction (CJ) is offering the opportunity for a radical proposal; an ambitious collaborative project to create a nationwide bank branch network, wholly-owned and managed by its customers, as a catalyst to revitalise the nation’s high streets and the communities living in and around them.
We all know the myriad problems facing our town centres and high Streets. One, which may not as yet have had the recognition it deserves, is the wholesale withdrawal of banking services to over 1500 locations across the UK, resulting in a lack of access to full banking facilities for 9 million individuals, and is particularly impactful on small businesses.
According to Which, banks and building societies have closed down, or plan to close down, a total of 1080 branches in 2018 and 2019.
CJ, over the past four years, has researched and developed a community banking business model – a model capable of playing a significant part in the regeneration of high streets and the communities which live in and around them.
ALL THE PARTNERS ARE IN PLACE TO ENABLE LOCATIONS TO OPEN THEIR OWN BANK BRANCH
The model is based on the successful community banking operation developed and deployed by the Bendigo Bank of Adelaide and Australia (“BEN”) since 1996. Since that time, some 320 branches have opened, each wholly-owned by the locality/community which it serves.
What has made the BEN community model successful and continuing to grow is the fact that all profits MUST go to support local projects, each to be decided upon by representatives of the local community where a branch is located. See this video for more info.
Jeff Payne, the driving force behind this initiative, said, “There is huge opportunity in seeing at first-hand how the Bendigo community banking model can deliver the sort of financial and social outcomes, which a small town like Cummins, South Australia, has achieved, and bring that experience and knowledge back to the UK to be delivered to and exploited by their communities.”
Seeing is Believing
At the invitation of senior BEN executives, CJ is offering a visit to see at first-hand its community banking model in operation, to take place in November 2019 and is open to a maximum of 12 locations. The visit will include visits to the bank’s head office, meetings with directors and staff, visits to and meetings with a selection of community banks, their directors and staff. The visiting team will also adopt the role of a formal Trade Mission, investigating with its counterparts in Australian industries and businesses the prospects for the generation and exchange of export and inward investment projects between the two countries.
Robert Musgrove, Executive responsible for Community Banking at the Bendigo Bank of Adelaide and Australia, said
“In Australia, Bendigo Bank has been pleased to be part of what is possibly one of the largest social enterprise movements globally; called Community Bank®.
We would be delighted to welcome a delegation to Australia and showcase what has been achieved with this unique shared-value business model. A comprehensive itinerary will be provided for the visiting group, so that they can learn more about Bendigo Bank, its community partners, and the broad array of initiatives being implemented across the country.
Whilst there will be numerous differences between the communities of Australia and the United Kingdom, equally there will be many similarities. The discussion and exchange of ideas through this visit will provide excellent learning for everyone that is involved.”
Applications are now invited for Pathfinder locations to be the first to open their community branch in the UK.
This is the first stage in a programme in which a new Community Bank will be developed in selected locations. Stage two is a local feasibility study. Full details are contained in the Prospectus, available to download from the website now.
Revive & Thrive is all geared up to undertake local Feasibility Studies, after the trip to Australia for the Pathfinders. Mark Barnes, Managing Director and Founder of Revive & Thrive said,
We are very pleased to be a key partner in this, very real, opportunity to return banking services to High Streets. With every local bank branch closure comes much rhetoric but little, if any, action. Community Junction addresses this by putting banking, not only back in people’s neighbourhood but in the control of the people who live there.
This is an exciting opportunity and Revive & Thrive looks forward to helping to develop the programme and to inviting its members to consider Community Junction for their town.