The original community lending model is recognised for its community focus
Consumers are the big winners through increased competition from the original community bank model
The Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals congratulates Community First Credit Union on winning its case against Bendigo Bank.
For two decades, Bendigo Bank trademarked the words ‘community bank’ and applied for and won a court injunction that would stop any bank using the words ‘community bank’ in name or marketing collateral, effecting a monopoly on the terminology.
On Friday, 20 September, Federal Court Justice Brigitte Markovic ruled that Bendigo Bank must deregister their trademark that includes the words ‘community bank’. The decision goes on to grant Community First Credit Union the ability to register the words ‘community bank’ in their name.
Melina Morrison, BCCM’s CEO, said, “We are delighted that the Federal Court has recognised Community First Credit Union for the community focus they have and that they can finally describe their business model for what it is – real community banking.
“Mutuals are the original community lending model, they are owned by their members and have always put the community before profit. We are pleased the courts have removed this unfair restriction by a publicly-listed bank against a community owned bank. The ability of Community First Credit Union to properly describe their business model has rightly been prioritised over the marketing strategy of a listed bank,” Ms Morrison said.