Bendigo Bank Yass branch still an option but 'not a done deal'

The chair of the Boorowa Community Bank Branch of Bendigo Bank says shareholders are still considering opening a branch in the main street of Yass but "it's not a done deal".

Boorowa Community Financial Services bought 125 Comur Street, Yass, next to Country Charm, to open a branch. Photo: Hannah Sparks

Boorowa Community Financial Services bought 125 Comur Street, Yass, next to Country Charm, to open a branch. Photo: Hannah Sparks

Chairperson Sue Corcoran said Boorowa Community Financial Services (BCFS) bought 125 Comur Street, Yass to open a branch.

However, she said it had been a "long, slow process" getting the branch ready to open and then the banking royal commission put everything on hold.

She said the current low interest rates increased the risk for shareholders to invest in bricks and mortar and that more people were using mobile banking, reducing the need for a branch.

However, she said there remained a lot of people in the region that wanted face-to-face banking, which is why they were still considering opening a branch.

Ms Corcoran said shareholders were thinking about sharing the Comur St shop with another business or selling it to buy a smaller place.

Inside 125 Comur Street where a Bendigo Bank Yass branch could go in the future. Photo: Hannah Sparks

Inside 125 Comur Street where a Bendigo Bank Yass branch could go in the future. Photo: Hannah Sparks

Although, she said BCFS had looked for five years before buying 125 Comur St, so shareholders were reluctant to sell in case another one wasn't available.

BCFS will also need Bendigo Bank's approval to open another branch.

A spokesperson for the bank said there were no immediate plans to open a branch in Yass but that the bank remained committed to local customers.

In the meantime, Bendigo Bank has appointed a business development manager, Darren Manton, to Boorowa Community Bank to provide additional support to customers in Yass.

"Mr Manton will offer expert assistance to Yass and district-based clients seeking personal and business lending advice and access to banking services," the spokesperson said.

Ms Corcoran said the number of Yass customers Mr Manton sees could be an indication of the need for a branch in town.

"Mr Manton will be focused on servicing and growing our presence in Yass and across its surrounding districts, so please feel free to contact him," she said.

The Boorowa community formed Boorowa Community Financial Services to purchase and open Boorowa Community Bank as a franchise of Bendigo Bank in 2001.

"It's been a good thing for Boorowa; it's meant we've had a bank for 18 years when we wouldn't have had one," Ms Corcoran said.