Bank service

Community bank service at the recovery center

The bank’s ATM is also out of order and will need to be replaced, but no timetable has been set for this work.

Lockmore Financial Services, which operates community banks in Rochester, Lockington and Elmore, chief executive Lauren Ross said floodwaters were about a meter high at their peak at the Rochester branch.

“Extensive damage was done to both the building and our electronic systems inside,” Ms Ross said.

“It’s likely the space will need a full refurbishment and we hope to know more details by the end of next week.”

While the Rochester ATM is out of service, the Elmore machine is operational 24/7.

The Lockington branch does not have an ATM, but customers can make cash withdrawals within the branch.

Staff at the Rochester branch have been granted paid natural disaster leave while they tend to their homes and families.

“Although our Rochester site is closed, we will likely have excess employees at times,” Ms. Ross said.

“We will be stationing a member of staff at Rochester Presbyterian Church daily from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. beginning Monday October 24 to assist local customers with non-cash transactions.

“We will also explore other ways in which any excess staff can help our community.”

The Elmore and Lockington branches will continue to operate as normal.

The bank has set up a natural disaster assistance package for its customers.

“Every customer’s situation is different, so the support available depends on their individual situation,” she said.

“Help can be in the form of loans, insurance claims or access to funds.”

More information can be found on this subject at: www.bendigobank.com.au/support/natural-disasters/

The support package is available for business customers, as well as individuals.

Ms Ross said CGU, the bank’s insurance partner, provided a team of specialists to help customers with their complaints and they could do this by calling 132 480 or submitting a complaint via www.cgu.com.au/claims

“Our Community Bank team are more than happy to help our customers with any questions or provide support when handling complaints,” she said.

Ms Ross said the bank was immediately helping its affected residents and volunteers by providing free coffees at the volunteer center (Rochester Presbyterian Church) and through local businesses when they reopen.

“We will continue to explore meaningful ways to contribute in the short term and are very open to suggestions from our locals,” she said.

“We are working closely with local community groups to determine the best ways to help our community in the medium to long term.”

Community Bank Heathcote has made a generous donation to the Rochester community, which the Rochester branch will administer on behalf of Heathcote Bank.

“In addition to this, the Community Enterprise Foundation (the charitable arm of Bendigo Bank) is running a Victorian Flood Appeal which will provide further support to our area,” she said.

For assistance, Community Bank Elmore, Lockington and Rochester can be contacted at Community Bank Elmore on 5432 6706 and Community Bank Lockington on 5486 2304, while the Financial Hardship hotline is on 1300 652 146 and other banking (or out of hours) assistance can be provided on 1300 236 344.