The Premier of New South Wales, Bob Carr, has welcomed Bank of Queensland south of the border, saying its latest branch at Menai in the Sutherland Shire would be a significant asset for the local community.
Menai is Bank of Queenslands seventh branch in New South Wales and its third in Sydney.
They are the vanguard of the 100 branches the Bank plans to open in New South Wales and Victoria by August 2006.
The new branches will be Owner-Managed Branches (OMBs), a unique concept where experienced bankers have part ownership of their branch.
In officially opening the Banks newest branch at Menai, to Sydneys south, Mr Carr said the Banks focus on opening branches and providing personal service to customers would revitalise the States banking services.
Bank of Queensland is not only bringing banking back to the people, but bringing people back to banking, Mr Carr said.
Their emphasis on face-to-face service means there will always be staff in their growing network of branches to help customers, which means not only better banking services but hundreds of new jobs throughout metropolitan and regional New South Wales.
Group Executive Retail Banking Donna Brown said Bank of Queenslands business strategy was based on opening branches, not closing them and employing, not reducing, staff.
Increasing our face-to-face contact with the community is the best way to demonstrate and offer to customers our truly different, person2person service, Ms Brown said.
The branch here at Menai is a perfect example of how our Owner-Managed Branch concept translates into superior face-to-face service for communities.
Michael Zacharia is not only an experienced banker with more than 40 years experience, but he is a local resident who knows his community, its residents and its businesses intimately.
Mr Zacharia said the fact he owned his branch, in the Menai Central Shopping Centre, would make a great difference to the way he could serve the Menai community.
Unlike other banks, I can make local decisions rather than referring everything to head office for approval. Because I am an owner-operated business, I really am part of the community, he said.
I grew up in the era of real bank managers and am a firm believer in the old-fashioned values of face-to-face service and going the extra mile for customers.