Announcement of the most recent recipients of sponsorship grants was a feature of this year's York Community Bank annual general meeting.

Chairman of York and Districts Community Financial Services Ltd, Lindsay McNeill, announced the  grants at the meeting attended by more than 30 shareholders and guests on November 13. Four groups received grants totalling almost $10,000 in the distribution covering January to June 2014. The total amount returned to local not for profit community groups was more than $45,000 for the year to June 30, Mr McNeill said.

The groups to benefit were York Bowling Club, for a refrigerated water dispenser; York Community Resource Centre for portable classroom equipment; York CWA branch to help cover the cost of hosting the 2014 state conference in York and York Golf Club to help renovate its office, he said.

In his update, branch manager, Graham Edmonds, said  that for the period July 1, to  September 30, 2013 total lending and deposits grew by $4.6 million to $78.7 million.
York branch had an interesting mix of business with lending at $26.1 million, deposits at $47.8 million and other business worth $4.8 million. The level of deposits reflected the makeup of the district's population, he said.
Growth over the past 3 months was in deposits amounting to $4.4 million. This was offset by a decline in lending of $353,000. "We had 16 loans worth $696,000 paid out. "This statistic is similar throughout the banking industry nationwide as customers try to clear debt," Mr Edmonds said.  
"Bendigo Bank has increased its commitment to the agricultural sector and expanded its agribusiness team from two to eight in the past couple of years.  "I have a good working relationship with agribusiness manager, Tim Paskov, and  we are happy to visit farms to discuss farmers' banking requirements. "Tim grew up in Meckering and has a good knowledge of the local area," he said.    

"I'm proud of the commitment of our branch to the local community. "Our financial support for the York community over the past 11 years amounts to more than $300,000.   "Australia wide, Bendigo Bank has committed more than $100 million to local communities. "I  can only repeat the message that the more support we receive from the local community in a banking sense, the more we have to return by way of sponsorship, marketing and donations," Mr Edmonds said.

In closing the meeting, Mr McNeill acknowledged the dedication of the staff. He made special mention of Selina Carmichael who completed 10 years with the branch on July 22, 2012 and Robin Milner who reached the milestone on October 10 this year.

He also thanked, James Fisher who was a director for four years and did not seek re-election. He reserved his biggest thank you for Chris Baker who retired from the board after more than 13 years. Chris was a member of the steering committee and a foundation director of YDCFS Ltd which negotiated the Bendigo Bank franchise and opened the York and Districts Community Bank branch in 2002.

ABOVE: YDCFS Ltd chairman, Lindsay McNeill, presents sponsorship to CRC representatives, Karina Leonhardt and Bill Cebula with branch manager, Graham Edmonds.