MURWILLUMBAH has a new place for locals to do their banking following the official opening on Wednesday night of the latest branch of BCU, formerly the Banana Coast Credit Union.
Although the branch, just up from the Commonwealth Bank in the town's main street, has been open for business for about a month, Wednesday night was the gala official opening attended by many of the “who's who” in Murwillumbah business circles.
It was held just a block away at the Murwillumbah Services Club in a function billed by BCU organisers as a 'networking and nibblies night'.
Those attending also included Gold Coast Titans star Anthony Laffranchi, who paid a visit to his old stomping ground of Murwillumbah to welcome BCU, which is one of the team's major sponsors, to town.
It has been a busy week for Laffranchi, who managed the appearance despite preparations for this weekend's season opener at Skilled Park on the Gold Coast.
Joined by Titans managing director Michael Searle, the local BCU team and more than 50 business owners, Laffranchi spoke of how the BCU Titans junior development program had allowed young hopefuls the chance to develop their careers close to home, instead of having to leave for Sydney as he had done.
BCU Branch Manager Thane Harriott said BCU's sponsorship went directly to the junior development program, which sought out and nurtured young talent.
He said with a head office in a rural NSW town just down the road, the community credit union understood the needs of local small business owners and local farming families.
“BCU was founded by banana growers at the Pub With No Beer and head office remains in Macksville,” Mr Harriott said.
“Our heart is in a town just like Murwillumbah.
“We have the expertise in this environment.”