Welcome bcu: Community Banking at Port Central
bcu has found a new home at Port Central. The staff are excited to offer personalised service while continuing to support the local community. General Manager Michael Ribbens chatted to Coastbeat about the bcu difference and its dedication to the people of Port Macquarie.
Coastbeat: Hi Michael! Please tell me a little about your role at bcu.
Michael Ribbens: My role as the General Manager of bcu is to help encourage more locals to bank with bcu and by doing so they will support the local community. This is achieved by driving awareness, consideration and advocacy and ensuring our teams are available and equipped to provide outstanding service to members whenever they need us.
Cb: How long has bcu been operating in Port Macquarie?
MR: bcu was formed in the Nambucca Valley in the early 1970s and opened a branch in Port Macquarie in 2000. We now have 21 branches spreading from Port Macquarie to the Sunshine Coast. We’re committed to providing a competitive alternative to the big banks. We enjoy the economies of scale that comes from the successful merger between Bananacoast Community Credit Union Ltd and Police & Nurses Limited in 2019.
Cb: Why is it important for bcu to support the local community?
MR: As a proud member-owned organisation, with a focus on local community banking, bcu exists to support our members and their communities. We understand that now, more than ever, our local communities need our support. Our business model is quite different to the major or listed banks. bcu doesn’t have to choose between those who bank with us and third-party shareholders. Any profits we make are channelled back into supporting our members through more competitive products and services and the local communities in which they live.
Cb: What sort of community events or groups is bcu involved with?
MR: bcu provides funding through a range of community programs and sponsorships and supporting local community groups. Our annual Bill Ussher Scholarship program, named after the founding Chairman of bcu Bill Ussher, provides a total of $20,000 in financial assistance to students, trainees or apprentices across the region to help fund their studies or career development. We have also recently launched an ongoing Community Grants initiative, the Neville Spear Community Grants, that offers $10,000 in grants for not-for-profit and community groups within our regions. bcu is a key sponsor of the Port Macquarie Ironman event as well.
Cb: How are you feeling about bcu finding a new “home” at Port Central?
MR: We are very excited to be able to relocate our Branch right in the heart of the CBD which we think will help us showcase the amazing, personalised service of our bcu staff which you just won’t get from other Banks. The new location in Port Central is a positive development for our staff, brand and members and will provide the physical presence needed to help deliver modern and enriching member and staff experiences. Digitisation and flexible ways of working are rapidly influencing workplace design, so it’s important to provide our staff with an updated workplace to enable them to continue to bring bcu’s unique Member benefits to life. Relocating to the Port Macquarie CBD also highlights our dedication to supporting the local business community and creates the space and flexibility needed to continue to grow with the community into the future.