FORMER Southern Finance boss Ashley King has been appointed the manager of Port Fairy’s new community bank.
Due to open in May, the branch has already signed up more than $40 million in business on its books.
The bank has replaced a former petrol station on Bank Street that lay derelict for years.
Mr King takes on the position after serving as general manager for Warrnambool-based Southern Finance.
The collapse of Banksia Securities undermined confidence in rural lenders, triggering the sale of Southern Finance’s assets and loanbook to the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank.
“With the Bendigo transaction it left me looking for an opportunity,’’ Mr King said.
“The position was available and given my background of finance in the area I felt I could make a strong contribution taking the branch forward.’’
He said a groundswell of support for the new branch had it well placed for the future.
“I understand that there is in excess of $40 million of business that’s tagged for the branch when it opens.
“That’s provided a strong platform for establishing the branch,” he said.
He has spent the past six months working on the bank’s steering committee raising capital.
Up to three full-time jobs will be created when it opens its doors. Community Banks — operated by Bendigo Bank — market themselves as community organisations issuing 50 per cent of their profits to groups in the community they serve.