Cairns gets first privately-owned bank


Cairns has its first privately-owned bank branch, with Bank of Queensland selling its Earlville branch to experienced banker and businessman Jason McKell.

The Owner-Managed Branch, or OMB, is a concept unique to Bank of Queensland which gives experienced bankers the chance to own, not just manage, their branch.

Jason has 17 years’ experience in banking and financial planning, including more than three years with Bank of Queensland as a branch manager in Mackay and six months as a business coach for other Owner-Managers.

He said he was enjoying the experience of running his own business and dealing personally with his customers – both increasingly rare opportunities in modern-day banking.

“It really is a different experience when you look after your customers’ needs – you have so much more control but also more responsibility than as a corporate branch manager,” Jason said.

“I can afford to spend time with my customers, so I really get to know them and their needs and, as Owner-Manager, I can really go that extra mile.  It also helps that I make the decisions here rather than having to refer everything to Head Office.

“At the end of the day, we are like any small owner-operated business and our business is only as good as our customer service.  Which means we go out of our way to make an impression!

"For example, the branch now opens on Saturday mornings between 9.00am and 12 noon for the convenience of our customers. In a way, I am trying to get back to being an old-style bank manager.

“Owning an OMB really is a great opportunity for a career banker, and one I would thoroughly recommend. 

“It is especially attractive to corporate managers from the bigger banks who have limited time to spend with customers and staff and tend to be transferred before they even get to know them.

Earlville, located at 520 Mulgrave Road, was the tenth corporate branch converted to an OMB.

Due to the success of the OMB model and its positive impact on customer service, the Bank will convert further corporate branches to OMBs where there is a demonstrated benefit to customers.

Bank of Queensland has 216 branches around the country, of which 166 are OMBs.