The Deputy Premier and Treasurer of South Australia, The Hon. Kevin Foley, MP, has welcomed a new bank with a new style of banking to the State, citing the vitality of the local economy and potential for future growth as major drawcards.
In launching the State’s first privately-owned bank and Bank of Queensland’s first South Australian branch, Mr Foley said: "I am pleased to be part of welcoming Bank of Queensland to South Australia."
"There is simply no better time to do business in this State – our economy is strong and business confidence is high," he said.
BOQ Managing Director David Liddy, who was born and grew up in Adelaide, returned home to open the 151 Pirie Street branch, the first of several planned for the city.
“I believe we can really make a difference here in South Australia, and that’s why we’re taking the fight to the big banks and non-bank lenders by opening our spearhead Owner-Managed Branch right in the middle of Adelaide’s banking district,” Mr Liddy said.
“South Australia’s enormous potential for economic and residential growth is obviously very attractive to a growing bank like BOQ. And its parochial character, similar to Queensland, is ideally suited to bank branches owned and staffed by local people offering a premium service to customers.
"Bank of Queensland is eagerly progressing plans to open further branches in South Australia. Discussions are ongoing with local owner-managers showing interest in opening Owner-Managed Branches in areas like Unley, Norwood, Elizabeth, North Adelaide and Glenelg,” Mr Liddy said.
The 151 Pirie Street Branch will be owned and managed by local banker of 20 years’ experience, Christopher Roper, who says the move will “open new doors” for small businesses as well as improve banking services to retail customers.
“SMEs are the backbone of any economy, but to thrive they need dedicated, flexible and accessible banking and financial services,” Mr Roper said.
“Too often, big banks focus on big business and view small business as “hard work for little reward”. SMEs are forced to use impersonal “cookie-cutter” business banking centres or call centres or, worse, left to their own devices on Internet and Phone Banking.
“This is the very opposite of what should happen. Small businesspeople generally need more hands-on assistance than larger firms which have greater access to professional support.
“The BOQ way offers every small business customer their own private bank manager – me!” Mr Roper said.
“I get to know them, to understand their business and to offer one-on-one banking services that meet their specific needs and goals. In addition, I am a local small business owner like them, so I understand their needs and concerns.
“I am available when they need me – including after-hours and on weekends. I give every customer my personal mobile number.
“And these same benefits also apply to retail customers, who can take advantage of a premium level of services every day.
“The branch is owned and staffed by locals who understand the community. Adelaide is set for great growth and development, its people enjoy personal, face-to-face service and will really appreciate my hands-on, intimate approach to looking after their banking and finance needs,” he said.
The 151 Pirie Street Branch is supported by a dedicated equipment finance office in Unley and 295 ATMs across the State.