The community of Highfields, just north of Toowoomba, has grown at an amazing rate over the last 20 years. In fact, it’s been acknowledged as the fastest growing community in Queensland. The result has been a quick transition from a small rural community to a semi-urban community in just a few years.
Given its rural background, the Highfields area had to quickly play catch-up to provide the kind of facilities and services that a more urban population demanded. With such rapid growth, local leaders recognised that the community needed to have a local banking provider that gave residents access to a full range of financial services. But they also saw the desirability of maintaining a community-based provider that had local interests at heart.
The solution was obvious – the Heritage Community Branch banking model, which had already proven a great success in the nearby community of Crows Nest. In December 2003, after investigating a number of options, local investors banded together to raise $80,000 in capital to open Heritage Bank Highfields Community Branch.
The Highfields community was also represented by Progressive Community Crows Nest Ltd (PCCN), the same community-based organsiation that had already partnered with Heritage to open the Community Branch at Crows Nest.
That first joint-venture between Heritage and PCCN began when the Crows Nest Community Branch opened in 1999. As the first such community branch in Queensland, the Crow Nest Branch gave locals access to comprehensive financial services. Unlike other banks, a share of the profits was returned back into the community in the form of grants. Simply by doing their everyday banking, residents were supporting their community and the popularity of the Community Branch grew.
PCCN now proudly runs and manages the distribution of profits from both branches - Highfields and Crows Nest - back into local communities.