Mackay will soon have its very first bank owned and operated by locals, with the Bank of Queensland Branch in Victoria Street set to be purchased by current bank manager Melissa Green.
Melissa, who has been corporate manager of the branch since 2004, liked the business, the customers and the opportunities so much she leapt at the chance to buy the franchise from Bank of Queensland.
She began working at the branch as a teller in 1994, her first job at the age of 17, and worked her way through the ranks, literally learning the business from the ground up.
The conversion not only provides the Mackay community with a significant asset, but underlines the ongoing synergies and successful integration of the BOQ and Pioneer Permanent networks.
BOQ Mackay has already established a commercial relationship with a nearby Pioneer Permanent Agency, sharing customers and opportunities to enhance both their businesses.
Mackay is the 15th corporate branch BOQ has converted to an Owner-managed Branch (OMB) with plans to continue franchising branches where there is a demonstrated benefit to customers and a top quality Owner-Manager ready to step up to the plate.
Of the Bank’s 220-branch retail network, 172 are OMBs.
“This is a truly revolutionary way of banking – there is no other full-service bank in town where you can walk in and be served by the owner,” Melissa said.
“It really takes banking back to the grass roots, allowing us to offer a level of service the others just can’t match. Local people will appreciate the personal, face-to-face service and the hands-on, intimate approach to looking after their banking and finance needs.”
“I was born in Mackay – the daughter of cane farmers – and now I am living and raising a family at Beaconsfield. I just love the place and am thrilled that I have been able to take advantage of this great business and career opportunity without leaving town.
“The current BOQ corporate staff are all coming across to work for me and I have employed a former Pioneer staffer as well, so my people really know the business and know the community,” Melissa said.
BOQ’s Group Executive National Franchise Banking, Donna Quinn, said the Owner-Managed Branch model really allowed quality bankers to shine by managing their own business rather than be stifled by a “cookie-cutter” corporate branch arrangement.
“The dramatic and immediate improvements in branch performance and customer satisfaction after they are franchised proves bank managers who have a direct financial interest in their branch, who are experts in their local market and who personally know their customers are much more effective than the old-fashioned corporate manager who often has none of these things,” Donna said.
“During the three months before conversion these corporate branches averaged annualised growth in lending and deposits of four and five per cent respectively.
In three moths as an OMB, they averaged 18 per cent annualised growth in lending and an astonishing 31 per cent in deposits,” Donna said.
Owner-Managed Branches are a franchise arrangement which enables experienced bankers to own and manage their own full-service Bank of Queensland branch in their local community, supported by the security and products of a 130-year-old financial institution.