Bank of Queensland has dramatically increased its already significant investment in the Sunshine Coast with the opening of a new Business Banking Centre yesterday.
This comes hot on the heels of the opening last week of a similar Centre on the Gold Coast.
The Sunshine Coast Business Banking Centre, centrally located in the commercial hub of Maroochydore, is expected to attract the legions of disgruntled business customers who feel they have been abandoned by the big banks.
A recent survey by Macquarie Research Equities found that 70 per cent of small to medium business owners did not like their bank, their main complaint being a lack of regular contact with their bank manager.
The Business Banking Centre builds on BOQ's already strong growth on the Sunshine Coast which saw the opening of three new branches (Maleny, Currimundi and Mooloolaba) last year and the announcement it will open soon in Tewantin.
It brings to 13 the number of BOQ's face-to-face banking facilities on the Sunshine Coast, a major expansion of its activities in the region representing a significant commitment to the local community.
Managing Director David Liddy and General manager Business Banking, Ross Norton, joined the Sunshine Coast's leading business and social figures to celebrate the opening of the keenly awaited facility.
Mr Liddy said BOQ's continuing support for the Coast provided a stark contrast to the big banks, which had closed 15 branches across the region in the past five years.
"BOQ has recognised and responded to the need for better banking services throughout one of the fastest-growing regions in Australia and is committed to restoring easily accessible face-to-face banking for residents and business owners.
"Sunshine Coast will once again benefit from this year's program of 12 branch openings across the State by August, including the eagerly awaited one at Tewantin.
"Tewantin will be one of the first off the rank this year, a move enthusiastically welcomed by local residents who have been calling for their own bank for some time.
"But the benefits for the Coast go well beyond provision of banking and financial services - the branches also create local jobs, rejuvenate communities and bolster economic progress.
"In particular, the opening of this dedicated Business Banking Centre reflects the Coast's growing status as a major economic hub and is aimed at assisting the region's economic importance to continue to develop," Mr Liddy said.
General Manager, Business Banking Ross Norton, told the gathered businesspeople that BOQ would exploit its key attributes of flexibility, integrity and personal service to attract and serve the majority of businesspeople who are unhappy with their current bank's service.
"Everyone I speak to comments about the lack of service and minimal personal contact offered by the big banks.
"Their customers are often forced to call a central processing centre, usually in a different city or State, where they must deal with someone who has no understanding of their business or their banking history.
"Our focus is on providing a level of personal service and tailor-made business solutions many other banks have long since ceased to offer.
"We are nimble enough that our business customers can deal directly and personally with the decision-makers - the person who is administering their overdraft or approving their loan.
"Our locally based Business Banking Managers and Branch Managers are highly skilled in commerce, in touch with local business and in tune with each customer's specific needs.
"Face-to-face banking is absolutely critical for most businesses - simply having a bank nearby can save them hundreds of valuable hours every year in doing their banking and provide a personal contact point for many solutions to their business needs and concerns," Mr Norton said.
The Business Banking Centre is located at Suite 1, 63 The Esplanade, Maroochydore and can be contacted direct on 5459 8830.