Job boost for region

GIPPSLAND will see a boost in its employment sector following the opening of a new national lending centre in Morwell today.

bankmecu will now have 27 employees working from its refurbished Morwell office, with the possibility of further expansion in the future.

The Morwell office will also serve as a “support branch” to the national Moe call centre, which currently employs about 40 staff.

According to bankmecu Gippsland community banking manager Anthony Heinemann said the growth of the customer-owned bank signalled “confidence in the region”, with “extremely high” possibilities of expansion.

“About 30 per cent of our staff work in the Latrobe Valley and a large percentage of our customers who bank with us are from the region,” Mr Heinemann said.

“There’s still a lot of potential for this region… and this is not just a one-off investment.”

bankmecu national lending centre manager Lee Dastey said employees of the centre attended to 130 calls regarding personal finance on a daily basis, adding the bank funded more than $120 million in loans on an annual basis.

“The centre definitely has the capacity to increase and we’ve witnessed this over the years,” Mr Dastey said.

“We have a strong commitment to Gippsland and with upcoming job opportunities at this centre, we will provide our staff with stable employment.”

The new lending centre follows a $1 million refurbishment of the first floor of bankmecu’s Morwell service centre in Commercial Road.

Mr Heinemann added bankmecu, Australia’s first customer-owned bank, invested $10 million into Gippsland on a yearly basis, while supporting groups such as Blue Stockings and Committee for Gippsland.

He concluded investing in local jobs and the regional economy paved the way for the growth of a health economy.