IT IS something iconic about regional Australia that when times are tough, people join together and support each other through the tough times. It reflects the strong attitudes, the resilience and the camaraderie that exists in regional and rural areas. Following ongoing drought, recent bushfires and the outbreak of COVID-19, a bleak outlook is often presented, however as all locals know there is always something new and fresh waiting around the corner, and people always join together to support new ventures and business ideas.
One organisation who knows all about support and investing in local areas is Reliance Bank, which has an amazing history of supporting communities throughout the Central West. Originally starting in 1967 as Torrens Credit Union, the organisation has continued to grow and evolve to meet customer and community needs and since merging with Unity Bank in 2010, Reliance Bank is now part of a larger banking network that enables members to access nation-wide branches and staff.
From the get-go, the business has been successful and Head of Marketing, Joanna Spencer, said the key focus was putting members first. "Members that have been with us for a long time know that we are there for them and they are our first priority".
As a "Member Owned" organisation, Reliance are different from the big four banks whose primary focus is to generate profits to provide dividends for shareholders.
As there are no external shareholders, any surplus earned goes back to Reliance members in the form of better interest rates, and improved products and superior customers service, something Joanna said was important especially during uncertain times. "Reliance Bank is known for the high level of customer service we provide and this is evident in the continuous positive member feedback we receive," she said.
Such service includes their recent Outreach Program where Joanna said thousands of members were contacted directly to make sure they were okay and to offer any assistance. "We had a number of relief/support packages that we rolled out for our members, particularly for those small business owners who needed our assistance.
Reliance Bank has been continuously working hard during this time to provide a committed service to our members so they can feel some sort of normality and stability in this highly unstable time".
It is not just products and services that Reliance Bank offers. They are heavily involved in their local communities and sponsor as many local initiatives, clubs and events as possible to show their support including Lithgow High School, Wallerawang/Lidsdale Progress Association, Mudgee Dragons Football, Gulgong Show Society, Mudgee Pony Club and many more.