Rockhampton now has its first privately-owned bank branch, with Bank of Queensland today converting its North Rockhampton branch to a franchised Owner-Managed Branch.
Experienced local banker and businessman Michael Polkinghorne has purchased the branch, at 24 Blanchard Street, in partnership with three other prominent bankers — Dan Lorraway & Ian Scott, Owner-Managers of the Bank of Queensland Yeppoon, and Wendy McKenna.
North Rockhampton is the third Bank of Queensland branch to be converted to an Owner-Managed Branch from the standard corporate format, testifying to the success of this unique franchised model and the exceptional level of service they are able to provide customers.
Michael Polkinghorne, who has worked in the banking and finance industry for more than two decades, said he was excited at the opportunities of owning his own branch.
“There’ll be a lot more work and responsibility but at the same time, a lot of benefits for both my customers and me,” Mr Polkinghorne said.
“Like any small owner-operated business, our business is only as good as our customer service and we will go out of our way to make an impression on our customers.
“This means I can offer Rockhampton residents and businesses a genuine alternative to the big banks, a welcome change for the thousands who feel they have been let down or even abandoned by their bank.
“And unlike other banks, I can make decisions based on local knowledge and experience – I don’t have to refer every decision to a head office in another city – so the buck stops with me.
“I really think I can make a difference here in Rockhampton,” Mr Polkinghorne said.
BOQ Managing Director David Liddy said Mr Polkinghorne brought a wealth of experience and drive, as well as a positive, “customer first” attitude, to the branch.
“This really is a case of a banker liking the company so much, they bought a branch,” Mr Liddy said.
“Our Owner-Managers are thoroughly screened to ensure they have impeccable credentials, wide-ranging experience and an unwavering focus on the customer, and Michael is no exception.”
Mr Liddy said the OMB model had revolutionised Australian banking and had helped BOQ conduct a rapid expansion both here in Queensland, and interstate, while maintaining a sharp focus on customer service.
“Bank of Queensland now has 205 branches, of which 150 are Owner-Managed Branches,” he said.
Bank of Queensland will continue to strategically convert corporate branches to Owner-Managed Branches where there are proven benefits to the Bank and its customers.