March 2000 marked the departure of the Commonwealth Bank from Ferntree Gully Village.
This galvanised group consisting of Community and Business groups to form a steering committee to establish a Community Bank®.
A public meeting attended by over 400 people pledged in excess of $600,000 in funding for the proposed bank. Subsequent surveys of businesses and residents confirmed the support for the establishment of a Community Bank® Branch in Ferntree Gully.
With $530,000 share capital subscribed by over 450 shareholders, Bendigo Bank granted a franchise and Ferntree Gully Community Bank® Branch opened for business on 25th November and moved into its refurbished premises at 81 Station St. Ferntree Gully on 21st December 2000 with strong community and business support.
The whole process was achieved in near-record time and reflects the support in the community to have input into the shape of their community.
The Community Bank® bought the Post Office licence and premises at 67 Station Street in 2005 as it had both outgrown its original space and there was the chance the Post Office was going to be lost to the Gully as the owners wanted to relocate to a Burwood Highway location. The Community Bank® was most concerned to lose the function of the Post Office in the local community, so negotiated the purchase of the licence and premises. The bank originally employed managers for the Post Office but subsequently sold the licence, retaining the freehold of the property. The Community Bank® moved into the refurbished location in mid 2005.
On the 27th April, 2006 the bank grew, opening the Rowville Branch to service an expanded local area in the Knox region. The Branch is located in Wellington Village on Wellington Road. This Branch has also received strong community and business support and moved to new premises in August 2015. The new location is Shop G7, The Corner, Wellington Road, Rowville.
With continued community support, the bank can keep on growing and giving back to the community. Approximately $2,600,000 has been returned to the local Knox community in the last 15 years.