Support fades for Bargara bank bid
AN ATTEMPT to set up a community bank at Bargara has failed.
The committee of the Bargara Community Bank has decided to stop trying to get the 300 potential shareholders, who needed to pledge a total of $600,000 to set up the bank.
The bank would have been established under the umbrella of Bendigo Bank.
Committee member Kym Grocke said it was a pity the bid to set up the bank had failed because it could have contributed money to the community.
"We've been going for quite a while and a number of the contributors pulled out," he said.
"It's really quite sad."
Mr Grocke said people got confused about the difference between a community bank and a commercial bank.
"The difference with a community bank is the profits go to shareholders or get donated as cash grants to community projects," he said.
"Those projects could be anything from foreshore development to transport for the elderly."
Mr Grocke said history showed if the community bank could not raise the 300 shareholders, it would not be a success.
"We got pretty close in terms of the numbers - we needed about another 50," he said.
"But a few of the big contributors dropped out."
Mr Grocke said being a shareholder in the bank would probably have paid off in the long term.
"In the short term being a shareholder looks more like a charity donation, but it's a long-term investment," he said.
"It may not make big profits, but it would be providing a service to the community that it will now lose."
Mr Grocke said it might have taken a few years for the bank to start making a profit.
He said the committee trying to get a community bank for Bargara had reformed two or three times to make an attempt.
"Each time we got an early surge and got a little closer," he said.
"We're probably not going to have another go for quite a while."
Committee lobbied for 12 months
Bank would have provided five jobs