Bathurst’s first franchised bank is due to open in the next few months as a local banker partners with Bank of Queensland to take on the challenge of offering the community a fresh approach to banking.
Bank of Queensland’s Owner-Managed Branches (OMBs) allow experienced local bankers to both own and manage a Bank of Queensland branch in their local community, ensuring local decision-making and much higher standards of service for customers.
Bank of Queensland Bathurst will be Owner-Managed by local resident Russell Gardner, who brings to the community more than 15 years’ experience in both personal and business banking.
Mr Gardner said the fact he owned his branch, to be situated in the Metroplaza Shopping Centre, would make a great difference to the way he could serve the Bathurst community.
“Becoming an Owner-Manager of a Bank is very different to being just a Manager,” Mr Gardner said.
“I own the business which means having a far greater ability to make local decisions taking into account local needs, and thereby providing a higher level of service, in addition to being in a better position to contribute to the local community.
“I grew up in the era of real bank managers and my personal commitment is to provide good old-fashioned face-to-face service where customers will be personal clients of me and my staff,” he said.
The branch will be a full service branch, not some sort of agency, offering highly competitive commercial and retail products, an ATM, a mobile lending service, extended trading hours including Thursday night and Saturday morning trading, and Internet and EasyPhone Banking.
“Little things like opening on Saturdays, not having to refer all loans to Head Office for approval and, as Owner-Manager, being here full-time to talk to and assist my customers all translate into an unprecedented level of service,” Mr Gardner said.
Managing Director David Liddy said experienced, passionate bankers like Mr Gardner continued to approach the Bank to become involved in owning and operating an Owner-Managed Branch.
“We continue to be overwhelmed by both the quantity and the quality of bankers wanting to be a part of our interstate expansion. We have therefore been able to choose the best of the best to become partners in our unique OMBs,” Mr Liddy said.
“We are searching for further top-level bankers who meet our exacting standards and would like to open Bank of Queensland branches in regional areas throughout NSW.”