EDNA Everage, Elvis Presley and the All Blacks scored mentions as Hume Bank unveiled the $1 million makeover of its biggest branch.
The flagship site in Albury’s Olive Street has been reconfigured into an open plan set-up with online banking terminals, free wifi, mobile phone recharging and a giant video screen.
Hume Bank chief executive David Marshall gave a clue to his sporting allegiances when he suggested at the opening on Tuesday how the screen could be utilised.
“You can come and watch Essendon win the grand final on the screen here or watch the All Blacks beat the Wallabies in the Bledisloe,” the New Zealand-born boss said.
Mr Marshall said it was the biggest branch investment in the institution’s 62-year history and compared the fresh approach to that used by tech giant Apple.
“You look at Apple they have these great big hub retail stores where they showcase their services and products and then it’s supported online and that’s what we’re doing,” he told The Border Mail.
Member for Albury Greg Aplin, who cut a ribbon to officially open the branch, reflected on life in 1955 when the then Hume building society began operating.
He recalled it was the year housewife Edna Everage made her performing debut and record company RCA backed singer Elvis Presley, suggesting Hume would be delighted if it got a similar return on the investment in its new branch.
“I wish you all the best for the years ahead in your splendid new premises here in Olive Street,” Mr Aplin said in concluding his speech.
The original 1955 Hume directors are recalled in the names of rooms in the remade branch – Larkins, Esler, Duffey, Walls, O’Shaughnessy and Hickey.
Mr Marshall said in the next three to four months Hume would open its first dedicated call centre based at the branch with six newcomers to be employed for it.
The former Baker Motors showroom adjoining the branch will from next month become the home of a Bridges financial services outlet previously housed in the Olive Street building.
Financial planner Taki Griparis will be joined by two other staff in the office.
The unveiling of the Olive Street site coincides with the closure of Hume’s West End Plaza branch.
“Obviously it’s a big change, but we’ve still got more branches by a factor of four to our competitors and we’ve still got two branches in the CBD,” Mr Marshall said.
“I understand some customers will be disappointed with that, but that is where the industry is moving, we’ve got to be able to meet our customers’ needs in different ways.”