In its 2012-2013 annual report the York and Districts Community Bank has revealed a difficult year with limited business opportunities.

Chairman of York and Districts Community Financial Services Ltd, Lindsay McNeill said, "The economic conditions coupled with a number of loans maturing due to the age of the branch, created challenges.

"Deposits grew by $4.32 million but were offset by a decline in lending of $3.55 million and $2.26 million in other business."The company’s total income for the 2012/2013 financial year was $733,948 with operating costs of $646,148. "The after tax profit was $83,188 down from $105,239 the previous year. "The board considers this to be satisfactory and in line with most of the Community Bank branches in country WA," he said.

Despite the lack of growth in income, the company continued to make significant contributions to the local community. It joined the Shire of York as an equal partner to provide $6,000 towards $12,000 needed by the York Swimming Club to buy medals for the WA Country Swimming Pennants in York in March 2014. "The company provided further grants and sponsorship worth more than $40,000 to 20 local voluntary groups and sporting clubs. "Other grants included scholarships for local students moving on to upper secondary studies, participating in Leeuwin sail training and pursuing other personal challenges," Mr McNeill said.

In April 2013, the company paid a dividend of 5 cents per share returning a total of about $23,000 to shareholders. The board’s policy of employing local suppliers, tradesmen and staff contributed more than $400,000  to the local economy. In addition the company provided extra storage for resources and equipment at the branch, installed new air conditioners and completed a security upgrade in line with Bendigo and Adelaide Bank policy.

The new branch manager, Graham Edmonds, took up his position on  August 1, 2012. The branch was without a manager for about three months following the departure of Tony Hunter, who took up the role of manager at the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank company branch in St Georges Terrace, the report said.

Commenting on branch operations, Mr Edmonds said that on April 1, 2013 Bendigo and Adelaide Bank took action to restore the balance in the 50:50 profit share arrangement with its Community Bank partners. This corrective measure had cost the branch  about $8,000 in the three months to June 30 and would reduce the company's income by an estimated $32,000 in a full year.

The branch continued to provide staff with the opportunity for training. Two members of staff, Selina and Robin, had achieved significant milestones in their positions and took long service leave, he said.

ABOVE: Among local volunteer groups to receive sponsorship was the York branch of the Veteran Car Club of WA.