Australia's best bank for CSR 2018: Bendigo and Adelaide Bank
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank
Bendigo and Adelaide gets our award largely because in a year when Australian banks got a roasting from the royal commission, the nation’s fifth-biggest bank, Bendigo came off relatively well compared to the big four of Westpac, ANZ, CommBank and NAB.
That’s not to say Bendigo was blameless. The commission found that Bendigo had mishandled a fraud case, charged wrong fees and had sometimes underpaid interest due to depositors, errors that the local business media hastened to claim were every bit as disturbing as those made by the big four, but in our minds that is a stretch.
Bendigo and Adelaide’s new chief executive, Marnie Baker, seized on that virtue to pitch her bank as the moral alternative to the venal quartet.
“We just want people to give us a try,” Baker pleaded.
Bendigo’s net profit for the year ending June 30 came in at A$434.5 million ($312 million), up 1.1%. That meant that Bendigo could return more money to support the mostly rural communities that are the bank’s core franchise. Bendigo and Adelaide does CSR differently to others.
As Baker’s predecessor Mike Hirst told Asiamoney: “The reason why we exist as a community bank is CSR, except we don’t call it that. We just show up for work and do our job.”