The Commonwealth Bank backs Country Week, a fresh deal for Regional NSW

26 February 2004

The Commonwealth Bank today announced its support for Country Week, a major campaign aimed at getting metropolitan industries, companies and individuals to consider a new life in country New South Wales.

Country Week was launched in Sydney today by the NSW Minister for Regional Development, Hon. David Campbell. It is the biggest and most unified of its type staged in NSW to help increase commercial development and the population in country areas.

Under A Fresh New Start for You and Your Family, the campaign highlights lower home-buying and business costs, greater availability of labour, lower crime rates and other advantages of family life in the country. It also provides leads into country NSW.

A major sponsor of Country Week, the Commonwealth Bank is a significant employer in regional NSW / ACT, with almost 2000 employees. It is also the most accessible bank with more than 140 branches and 26 Business Banking centres. The Bank has committed to maintaining branches at current levels across Australia (i.e. at about 1000, around 200 more than its nearest competitor).

The Bank’s Business Bankers throughout regional NSW are empowered to make credit decisions locally rather than refer applications elsewhere for approval. Through a direct relationship with their Business Banker, business and corporate clients have access to a range of specialist services, including investments, Agri-business, risk management, insurance and other financial services.

To further assist regional business the Bank is hosting forums in NSW centres in March and April - at Wagga, Wollongong, Newcastle, Dubbo and Tamworth - where senior economists and business banking specialists will discuss relevant local issues.

Country Week culminates in August in an exhibition at Sydney Olympic Park showing what Country NSW can offer. It is backed by the State Government, local government councils across the State, community organisations and big and small business.

Paul Rea
Group Corporate Relations
Tel 02 9378 5965 or 0416 073 730