Given the significant misinformation in the media recently regarding Bank of Queensland’s dealings with Storm Financial and treatment of Storm Financial customer accounts, the Bank would like to take the opportunity to clarify key facts.
Based on the Bank’s knowledge and enquiries to date:
- There is no evidence of improper or dishonest practices or conduct by the Bank in connection with Storm clients; and
- There is no evidence that the Bank has engaged in any misleading and deceptive conduct or unconscionable conduct in relation to its lending to Storm clients.
- Bank of Queensland has around 319 customers who were associated with Storm with aggregate loans of around $105 million. All loan files are secured by residential property. Customers introduced to the Bank by Storm have been serviced as BOQ customers.
- The majority of customers are re-paying their loans as per their loan contracts.
- BOQ did not provide margin loans to Storm Financial customers - the Bank provided home equity loans to Storm Financial customers.
- To date BOQ has had 15 hardship applications. The Bank has approved 14. The remaining application was declined as the customer’s circumstances changed. The Bank’s intention is to work with any customer experiencing hardship, within the assistance package criteria, to enable them to fulfil their obligations.
- BOQ has to date received no legal proceedings from Slater & Gordon and is not under formal investigation by ASIC. BOQ will inform the market if that changes.
- BOQ was not a corporate banker of Storm Financial, and did not have any relationship with Storm Financial other than quoting with other banks to provide customers with home equity loans.
- BOQ does not have a valuation model linked with any of Storm’s systems.
- BOQ used independent valuations, sourced from a number of its panel valuers, when determining the value of a Storm Financial customer’s residential security for home equity loan purposes.
- BOQ used conservative loan to value ratios of 80% or less.
- BOQ did not have any commission or bonus relationship with Storm Financial.
- BOQ did not provide financial or investment advice to Storm Financial customers.
- BOQ does not provide advice on or manage complex leveraged or geared equities.
- BOQ did not promote Storm Financial products.
The Bank appreciates that a number of Storm Financial customers have been negatively impacted by the downturn in the sharemarket and are suffering financial stress as a result, and the Bank continues to encourage any BOQ customer who is experiencing financial hardship to contact the Bank about how it can help.
Bank of Queensland (BOQ) is writing to mutual BOQ / Storm customers reminding them of the Bank’s hardship assistance package should they be suffering financial distress.