Michael Bell, Bendigo Bank Community Bank® East Gosford, Lisarow and Kincumber
When the last of the big 4 banks shut its doors in East Gosford twenty years ago, it left a vacuum in the close-knit community that seemed impossible to fill.Local consumers left in droves for Erina, putting enormous strain on the once thriving shopping strip.But all that changed when long-established local businessmen and members of the East Gosford Chamber of Commerce put their heads together after watching a story on A Current Affair about a Community Bank®Bendigo Bank, and were given the nod to conduct a feasibility study.
One man who has been instrumental to the success of the Central Coast's Bendigo Bank branch network is Senior Branch Manager, Michael Bell. Describing his role as, "the conduit between the Board, the business and the community", Michael was approached to come on board in early 2002.As an experienced banker, respected local real estate agent and life-long Gosford resident, Michael said the transition to Bendigo Bank felt natural.
"By the time I came on board the East Gosford branch was well established and had made its first profit in its second year of operation. People embraced us because they liked those traditional banking services where they could come in and talk to someone
.To this day we still have local phone numbers so people can speak to a member of our team, many of whom have been with us from the start." Staff turnover is low across the sixteen staff and most are shareholders and active members of the community.