The Bank of Queensland has won the Australian Banking and Finance Award as Australia's Best Regional Bank.
Bank of Queensland defeated Suncorp, St George, Bendigo Bank, Adelaide Bank and Bank West to win Best Regional Bank in the industry's most prestigious annual awards.
And in a major coup, Bank of Queensland's General Manager, Operations and IT Jennifer Heffernan, won the award for Australia's Best CIO/eBanker, ahead of nominees from all the major banks.
The two awards for the Bank of Queensland came in the only two categories in which the bank was nominated. The awards are decided by votes from within the banking industry.
Managing Director David Liddy said he was overwhelmed by the award wins, and put the credit for the elevation to Best Regional Bank firmly with the staff.
"This win is a credit to the Bank of Queensland staff. They have responded magnificently over the last 12 months to the many changes and challenges facing them.
"I believe we have the best staff of any bank, and this is an award which has been won by each and every one of our staff from the corporate branches, the owner-managed branches, the business banking centres and head office.
'As for Jennifer's win, I think that is magnificent. Jennifer is currently managing our $40 million Core System Migration, our EDS relationship and a variety of other critical projects, Mr Liddy said.
"In fact, Jennifer is managing the most complex and far-reaching IT project in Australian banking with the CSM.
"The award is just reward for a career of excellence from Jennifer, and is particularly important for her because she was nominated and voted the best by her peers within the industry."
Bank of Queensland last month announced its half-yearly results, which were highlighted by a record net profit and declining cost-to-income ratio.
The Bank has also opened 17 new branches across Queensland in the last 15 months, and will open at least another 20 by August 2004.
Mr Liddy said that, despite the award win, the Bank would not rest on its laurels.
"We are still a long away from where I believe we can be, and still have a great deal to achieve. This win is an honour because it comes from our peers, but we still have a lot to prove to our current customers and potential new customers," he said.