Bendigo Bank and Corporate Social Responsibility

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Bendigo Bank and Corporate Social Responsibility

While Bendigo Bank maybe just another financial institution trying to return profits to its shareholders, there is something uniquely distinctive about Bendigo Bank that really does differentiates from the other major banks. It doesn’t take much looking around to find that Bendigo Bank is heavily involved with local and rural communities focusing extensively on corporate social responsibilities. It markets itself as the community bank but are their claims simply a marketing ploy or do they in fact practice what they preach. This following report investigated this following question through annual reports, mission statements and journals to establish that Bendigo Bank really does get involved with the community and its CSR commitments through many initiatives such as Community Bank, Community Sector Banking and Community Telco as well as other initiatives. It should also be noted that as a company, due to its merge with Adelaide Bank 2008 it is now named Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited however this report will be focusing on the Bendigo branch.

Methodology

Being a public financial company listed on the ASX means that Bendigo Bank has to make many of their reports publicly available so that shareholders may access them. This meant that I was easily able to locate their annual reports/ reviews from 2000 to 2011. Also accessible are many banking policies that have to mandatorily be available for the consumers to access freely as well as some that have voluntarily put up on the bank’s website. Some examples of such policies available are the Electronic Funds Transfer code of conduct, Customer Feedback Management Policy, Code of Banking Practice etc. As mentioned these policies are all made publicly available through their website and are also available at local branches.

Attached along with this assessment is a 2011 Bendigo Bank Annual Review (Attachment A) that can be viewed in conjunction with this assessment.

The attached 2011 annual review is a summary of the 2011 annual report which is much more detailed and thorough, fully going through the years progress for its shareholders and customers. The review has been attached in its place due to size constraints, with the annual report being 201 pages long. If needed the annual report can be accessed through the following link: http://www.bendigoadelaide.com.au/public/shareholders/pdf/annual_reports/2011_annual_report.pdf

Overview of Bendigo Bank

The main purpose of an annual report or review is for external and internal parties to assess the operations and financial performance. Internally it is the organisation that reviews there own progress and externally it used for shareholders and stakeholders. In many respects the annual report is used as a marketing tool to keep shareholders or to attract new ones. In order to do this many of the organisation’s action are highlighted to demonstrate how they have been effective.

The review and report open up with the company’s vision and strategy. The aim is stated as ‘we aim to be Australia’s leading customer-connected bank.’ This seems to be a much more generic term used when compared to the strategy which gives a insight into the psyche of the company. For example Commonwealth bank has a similar vision of  ‘to be Australia’s finest financial services organisation through excelling in customer service.’

The strategies are listed as:

* Our strength comes from our focus on the success of our customers, people, partners and communities * We take a 100 year view of the business
* We listen
* We respect everyone’s choice, needs and objectives
* We partner for sustainable long term outcomes

The strategy emphasis is put on the long-term outcome because of it focus on customers and communities. While many major banks are withdrawing from rural regions because of no short term financial viability, Bendigo...
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