One of the main reasons I enjoy getting out and meeting customers so much is to hear the stories of how they started and have grown their business. For me, banking is about people and about backing entrepreneurs - people who are great leaders and business managers.
In 2021, it was difficult for me to spend as much time onsite with customers as I would have liked due to COVID-related restrictions on travel and movement. Nevertheless, I enjoyed speaking to many over video conference as often as possible.
In early July, I spent a few days in the northwest Victorian region of Sunraysia, around Mildura, getting to know a number of our customers and the bankers who support them. We spoke at length about the challenges facing their various industries and the opportunities for growth. You can learn more about their stories below.
At the bank, we look for businesses with great leadership - people who have a vision about the future and understand what's going on in the marketplace, people who show flexibility and the ability to adapt to the changing world.
Diversification is so important in all sorts of businesses – including banking. Creating integrated but diverse revenue streams is a high-value business model which helps companies in higher risk industries like agriculture and manufacturing remain successful.
There is such a diverse range of industries which support and enable the growing, harvesting and herding which occurs right across Australia’s agricultural sector. Companies both large and small providing the services and technologies needed to help Australia’s economy thrive.
One of the things I learnt spending time with customers in Mildura was the amazing impact of technology. We’re increasingly seeing great Australian companies creating goods and services not just for the Australian market but for global consumption. There's a great future for that and it's something we want to facilitate and help grow.
On my trip to the Sunraysia area, the real drive towards and the appreciation of the value of diversification really stood out for me. And coupled to that, the scale and capital investment needed to fully realise that value.
I look forward to being able to meet more of our customers in the new year so we can continue to learn from each other and build a better future.
You can learn more about some of our Mildura customers in the videos below.