OUR BANK: Holly Pakleppa receives a scholarship cheque from Chairman of Lowood and Fernvale Community Bank Keith Manz - just one of the many ways the bank helps the community.
OUR BANK: Holly Pakleppa receives a scholarship cheque from Chairman of Lowood and Fernvale Community Bank Keith Manz - just one of the many ways the bank helps the community. Dominic Elsome

FREE CASH: Bank to pay out investors next month

BANK investors are set to receive a free handout next month, with one Somerset bank dishing out a 6 per cent dividend.

The Lowood & Fernvale Bendigo Bank will thanking their investors this November, for their continued support following a tough financial year.

It's been a trying year for the community-owned branch, and the branch is preparing to give back to the community that has supported it through this tough time.

Somerset Community Bank Chairman Keith Manz said the return for shareholders was a reflection of the strength and growth of the branch through the turbulent times of the past year.

"I'm really pleased we have been able to pay this dividend to shareholders, as well as reinvest some $76,000 this past year into communities across the Somerset region," he said.

The bank has faced a wide range of difficulties in recent times, with online banking, competitive interest rates, and the increased banking regulations enforced following the Royal Banking Commission all taking their toll.

Further challenges include a robbery last year, and the added pressure of being the only bank left in Lowood, following the closures of three other competitors in recent years.

"Despite this, the bank remains strong and vibrant, thanks in no small way to our clients and the valued service provided by our banking team at Lowood, and by our agencies at Esk and Toogoolawah," Mr Manz said.

Next year, the bank will be celebrating its 10th anniversary of banking service to communities across the Somerset region.

Reflecting on the past decade, Mr Manz said it was the foresight and faith of foundation shareholders who helped to establish and grow the banking business in the first place.

"These days, it's our current shareholders and banking clients who are helping to grow the business, and ensure an important over-the-counter banking service remains in our communities," he said.