Bendigo Bank is part of the local community. You might even be a customer of theirs. Why is the Bendigo Bank brand so strong and well respected in a time when most banks are failing? We sat down with Natalie Goold, Franchise Manager to learn about the bank, future trends and her leadership style. Thanks, Natalie.

  1. The Bendigo Bank brand has always appeared strong. How does it achieve this?

According to independent research by Roy Morgan, Bendigo Bank was named the third most trusted Australian brand last month [July 2018], ahead of Bunnings, Qantas and the ABC. This is something that we are extremely proud of and reflects not just how we function as a bank, but more so how we treat our customers, our company character and conscience.  Our capabilities continue to evolve to deliver industry-leading solutions and experiences to our customers.  At the core of what we do is our customers, and this has not changed during our 160 years of operation.

  1. The world of financial services changes at rapid rates and shows no sign of slowing down. How do you remain up to date and in touch with client needs?

This is absolutely true, change is happening at a rapid rate, this is exciting for our customers as new technologies make banking more accessible, putting the consumer in control.  It is a challenge that the banking industry faces, we need to ensure we are meeting the changing needs of our customers and innovating constantly to remain relevant.   We actively encourage and monitor feedback from customers through our Customer Help Centre, feedback is monitored for emerging trends and acted upon as required.  As an organisation we also engage with Fin Tech innovators and existing partners, ensuring we are always up to date with best practice and looking for new areas to invest in.

  1. What and who motivates you as a leader?

My team of people motivate me every day!  People that are passionate about getting the best outcome for a customer are really motivational.  I really admire staff who are willing to try new things and go outside of their comfort zone at times.  I have a motto that ‘while you are in your comfort zone you are not growing as a person’.Personally, I am motivated by leaders that are passionate about achieving goals and who can set a vision for our company.

  1. What advice would you give to your 16-year-old self?

To make the most of compound interest, start investing young!!  A good work ethic and right attitude will open doors you never imagined.

  1. A large number of SME’s fail in the first few years of business. Why is that and how does Bendigo Bank assist [before they fail that is!]?

Starting a new business can be all encompassing, there are so many elements the business owner needs to be across.  Being planned in your approach and researching your market are critical.We provide new customers with access to our online Business Hub, which provides information such as Business Plan templates, updates on financial markets, information on legislative requirements for employees such as Superannuation contributions and loads of information.  We can also support start up SME’s by ensuring they have the strong advisors supporting (such as Accountants, Business Advisors etc.).

  1. How would your colleagues describe you?

That’s difficult to answer…I enjoy achieving and always moving forward.  I care about the best outcome for our customers and our staff.

  1. How would you describe the team at McPhail & Partners?

The team at McPhail & Partners are genuine in helping their clients to achieve their business goals.  It is a family based business that has strong values, work ethic and integrity.

  1. Technology has impacted business in so many ways. How has it helped Bendigo Bank and its clients?

Technology in banking has put the customer more in control of their finances.  Customers have all their banking information at their fingertips, so people are more informed about their financial position.  Payments can now be made and received so quickly by so many different means, this is great for small business and assists with cash flow challenges.

  1. How important is a partnership approach to the relationship you have with your clients and how do you ensure that is consistent throughout all three branches that you oversee?

We view banking relationships with our customers as a partnership, in which we feel that we can add value to the customer and help them achieve their financial goals.  We do this by really knowing our customer and understanding what challenges they face, how they like to manage their banking and being accessible when the customer needs assistance.

We look for ways to reach out to our customers and give suggestions on new products or different ways of structuring their banking that could be more beneficial to them.

Our group of 3 branches (Ringwood, Boronia and Bayswater) work as one team.  We meet on a regular basis as a group to discuss things like; best practice, new products and initiatives, key client relationships etc.  This ensures that we keep challenging ourselves and meeting the changing needs of our customers.

We would love the opportunity to speak with anyone who is interested in banking with Bendigo Bank and invite you to contact me on 03 9870 9244.