BOQ’s business bank to step out of OMB’s shadow


While Bank of Queensland’s unique Owner-Managed Branch (OMB) network received much of the credit for the Bank’s success over the last six years, the head of the its business banking unit believes future glory will also lie with the business end of the Bank.


“It’s fair to say that the OMB model has received much of the credit for our recent success, but the growth and expansion of Bank of Queensland’s business banking arm has been impressive,” Group Executive Business Financial Services David Marshall said today.


“Not only have we achieved strong growth in our business bank through our focus on customer service, we have also recently launched a new Everyday Business Account, which is already drawing strong market share.


“The Everyday Business Account gives business customers what they’ve been asking for; a simple business transaction account with fewer fees.


“It is this kind of ingenuity that is going to see us go from strength to strength, and move out of the shadow of the OMB Network.


“In saying that, our business bankers work closely with our franchised branches to ensure business opportunities are handled quickly and in a straightforward way.  A healthy relationship with our franchised branches is critical.


“The fact is, we intend to be the number one business bank in our home state of Queensland, and to significantly increase our share nationally. To do that we need to build on our unique strengths to ensure we match our rapid branch expansion with continued rapid expansion in the business banking market,” he said.


“The cultural strengths that have lead to our success in the retail branch market are identical to those which will power our future growth in business banking. It’s about providing great customer service and a genuine differentiation on what we can deliver,” he said.


This was highlighted by the latest East & Partners research into customer sentiment amongst SMEs, which rated BOQ second only behind St George amongst all the banks.


In addition, BOQ had the largest sentiment score improvement this month, up from 56.6 to 57.4.


“At BOQ, the customer is so much closer to the decision maker and therefore they get quicker decisions and access to the person saying yes or no. This is critical when supporting the business community on the ground in a simple and straight-forward way,” Mr Marshall said.


“That may not seem like much, but it’s the sharp end as far as business, big and small, rates their service from a bank. They want to speak to the decision-maker and tell their story once, not be passed on to someone else. 


“At BOQ, just as retail customers can meet the branch manager, so business customers can meet with the decision-maker, whether it’s me or one of my team,” Mr Marshall said.


“Again, this means that key customers and brokers know who they are dealing with and know why decisions have been made."


According to East & Partners’ research, BOQ has seen improvements in each of the four key areas measured; empathy, satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy. 


Of all of the bank customers surveyed, BOQ customers are the most loyal and are also the most likely to recommend their bank to colleagues.


“East & Partners’ results demonstrate the success of our approach; they show we are second only behind St George and well ahead of some of our competitors.


Our goal, as it is in retail customer satisfaction, is to be number one and we will be working hard to achieve that,” Mr Marshall said.


“The fact that we have improved the most out of any of the banks demonstrates that our down-to-earth and straightforward customer-focused strategy is paying off, but we are always pushing to do better.”


BOQ’s most recent financial results, the full year results announced in October this year, highlighted just how important the business banking division was to the future growth of the Bank.


“Business banking, particularly in the equipment finance, debtor finance and SME sectors, has continued to outperform the market, and will continue to do so,” Mr Marshall said.


Bank of Queensland expanded its business banking offering over the last few years with the acquisition of UFJ Equipment finance and the debtor finance division of Orix.


Bank of Queensland Equipment Finance (BOQEF) was recently awarded Financier of the Year by the Australian Asset Finance Association, for the second year running.


East & Partners Customer Sentiment October 07

St George60.5
NAB 51.0
ANZ 42.4 
Westpac 35.8 
Bankwest 35.7 
Suncorp 30.9
Citi 27.7