Victorian Premier Steve Bracks and Queensland Premier Peter Beattie will jointly officially open Bank of Queensland's first branch in the Melbourne CBD today.
The branch, at 455 Bourke Street, opened for business yesterday and joins the Frankston branch as Bank of Queensland's first two Victorian branches. They are part of a roll-out of 100 new Bank of Queensland branches in New South Wales and Victoria over the next two years.
BOQ Managing Director David Liddy said he was overwhelmed with the support of Premiers Bracks and Beattie, and their decision to jointly open the Bourke Street branch.
I think it is great credit to Bank of Queensland's community focus that the leaders of our home State, and one of our new homes, have come together to officially open the Melbourne CBD branch, Mr Liddy said.
Premier Steve Bracks welcomed the arrival of a new competitor to Victoria.
"I would like to congratulate Bank of Queensland on coming to Victoria and becoming part of our booming financial services sector, Mr Bracks said.
"I am delighted the first two BOQ branches in Victoria are owned and managed by local business people. The new competition can only be good for Victorian banking customers."
Premier Peter Beattie said he welcomed the opportunity to support one of Queensland's fastest growing, and most successful corporations.
Bank of Queensland is a smart business from the smart State and has made a name for itself through excellent service, Mr Beattie said.
Mr Liddy said Bank of Queensland's owner-managed branches, in which top bankers partner the bank as branch managers, meant that local bankers owned and ran the full-service Bank of Queensland branches. They are supported by more than 1700 BOQ ATMs throughout Australia, along with full phone and internet banking resources.
It is the perfect partnership. Bank of Queensland empowers its owner-managers to provide the very best in service. Like small business people across the country, they can make local decisions through a strong understanding of their customers needs, he said.
While most of our new branches are opened regionally and in the suburbs, we expect to eventually have at least three branches in the Melbourne CBD.
The involvement of Premiers Bracks and Beattie highlights that Bank of Queensland's policy of opening branches and creating more face-to-face service for customers is socially responsible, and strongly supported by the community.
Bank of Queensland is expected to create more than 500 new full-time equivalent jobs from the interstate branch roll-out.
Mr Liddy, also a Director of the Brisbane Lions AFL club, will also bring down one of the Lions Premiership Cups for the official opening.
Bank of Queensland is a sponsor of the Lions, and I know there are a lot of supporters of both the club, and the AFL generally, who would like to see the Cup up close, he said.
Owner-managers Frank Filippone and Tom Tancredi, who have almost three decades experience between them in Victorian banking, will operate the new Melbourne CBD branch.
Mr Liddy said the Bank had been overwhelmed by the number of bankers who were wanting to be a part of Bank of Queensland's interstate expansion as well as the quality of those bankers throughout Victoria and New South Wales.
As well as the Bourke Street branch, we have already opened interstate branches in the outer Melbourne suburb of Frankston and in New South Wales at Byron Bay, Kingscliff and North Parramatta, Mr Liddy said. And that's just this month.
Under Bank of Queensland's unique OMB® structure, these first five franchised interstate branches are operated by experienced bankers who understand their local markets and they will have a specific focus on providing a personalised banking service, he said. BOQ now has a total of 142 branches.
Bank of Queensland Melbourne CBD Owner Managers, Frank Filippone and Tom Tancredi are both former private bankers from major banks and were based in Melbourne prior to coming over to Bank of Queensland.
Mr Filippone said they were excited about being part of the first wave of Bank of Queensland's interstate expansion into Victoria and were looking forward to making a difference to the way Victorians can do their banking.
To be the landmark first Bank of Queensland Melbourne CBD branch is extremely exciting and Bank of Queensland's OMB® model gives us, as bankers, an enormous opportunity to bring personal service and a full range of banking products to Melbourne, Mr Filippone said.
The opportunity to have a hands-on involvement with customers and clients on a day-to-day basis, with the full support of a genuine Australian bank, was too good to pass up.
We know the people of Melbourne will respond to a genuine alternative to the Big Four.
A return to old-fashioned personal banking where the branch manager actually knows their customers, complemented by a full, modern range of banking products, including vital tools such as phone banking and Internet banking will prove very popular in Melbourne, he said.