Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has taken 100 per cent ownership of Community Telco Australia.
Community Telco Australia was established by the Bank in 2003 to ensure it had access to telecommunication infrastructure at a viable price point to support a major regional headquarters and to extend its Community Bank® model into the telco market, said Andrew Cairns, Head of Customer Led Connections.
"The Bank has held held a 50 per cent shareholding in the telco since 2005 when it sold 50 per cent stake to AAPT then Australia's third largest telecommunications company," Mr Cairns said.
"The Bank has now finalised the purchase of AAPT's 50 per cent shareholding and is now the only Australian bank to own a telecommunications company."
CTA has grown to be Australia's largest regional telco, creating economic output of $148 million annually across regional Australia, equating to 382 jobs.
"There is no doubt the convergence of banking and telecommunications via mobile devices is not just growing as an accepted mainstream channel for banking - this growth is actually accelerating rapidly," he said.
"It is also becoming clear that customers will want a seamless mobile banking experience and this is another way the Bank is working to connect with its customers and make banking as simple and easy as possible."
Chief Executive Officer of CTA, David Joss said it had invested heavily in its mobility capabilities and had become a leader in the field.
"Moving forward, although CTA will take a much more active role in assisting the Bank with the development and launch of many of its digital initiatives, it is expected that there will be no significant changes to how we do business and service franchises and customers," Mr Joss said.
In relation to the AAPT relationship, he went on to say "Our long standing relationship with AAPT has served all parties well and we fully expect that moving forward we will remain commercial partners for the foreseeable future"
"The purchase by the Bank is an exciting development for CTA and the Community Telco group, in a rapidly changing market and takes us into the exciting space of digital banking."
About Community Telco Australia
Established in 2003, Community Telco Australia is an initiative of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank which has been created to improve the prospects of communities and to minimise the capital drain they face from the purchase of essential services such as telecommunications.
The primary objective behind this strategy is the long-term sustainability of those communities who choose to partner with Bendigo and Adelaide Bank.
This approach has been successful with Community Bank® branches around Australia, and has been proven to also work in communities who partner with Community Telco.
The aggregated buying power of Community Telco Australia enables local communities to access competitively priced telecommunications technology, the best available telecommunications solutions and to improve their future prospects.
Community Telco has a presence in key regional communities up and down the south east coast of Australia and also operates Bendigo Bank Telco assisting customers across community's serviced by Bendigo and Adelaide Bank.