Sustainability - governance

Corporate Governance


Our Board and Executive members pride themselves on their commitment to excellence in all aspects of our business. This commitment is defined in our Board Charter and Code of Conduct. Our Board of Directors are responsible for our overall corporate governance and the key governance principles they adopt are set out in the Board Charter. While the Code of Conduct sets out the principles all employees are expected to uphold in order to promote the interests of BOQ and our shareholders.

 

The Board’s commitment to excellence in corporate governance is also supported by the Principles of Good Corporate Governance and Best Practice Recommendations developed by the Australian Securities Exchange’s Corporate Governance Council. These principles, together with the oversight of the Audit and Risk Committee, establish the framework of how the Board carries out its obligations.

 

To ensure the best possible representation on the Board, at least one third of Directors must retire from office at the AGM each year. Directors can be re-elected at the discretion of shareholders in a proxy vote. This rule forms part of our Constitution. The Board also reviews its own performance and those of its Committees according to the Board Performance Review and Renewal Policy with a view to achieving and maintaining the highest level of performance. Furthermore, Director attendance at Board and Committee meetings is publicly disclosed in our annual reports.

 

For more information on our corporate governance including Board responsibilities and structure, how we safeguard the integrity of our financial reporting and how we recognise and manage risk, please refer to our corporate governance statement.

 

Regulators


We have a number of practices and policies in place to meet the requirements of regulators, industry bodies and stakeholders. Compliance improves our risk management, employee satisfaction and customer loyalty.

 

We take a cooperative approach to managing our relationships with regulators and meet our obligations by:

 

  • complying with the requirements of the law, regulatory policy statements, industry codes of practice and organisational standards that are relevant to our business.
  • proactively identifying compliance issues impacting us and establishing compliance systems and procedures to effectively and efficiently address these compliance issues. This includes the continual development and implementation of our education and training program, communication program, monitoring and review program and reporting processes for compliance.
  • ensuring we’re up-to-date with developments in compliance requirements impacting on our business.
  • ensuring all employees actively participate in education and training programs and in the development and implementation of relevant compliance systems and procedures. Employees share relevant information on compliance issues and endorse and support a culture of compliance.

Our regulators include:
 
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)
www.accc.gov.au
 
Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
www.asic.gov.au
 
The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)
www.asx.com.au
 
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA)
www.apra.gov.au
 
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA)
www.rba.gov.au
 
The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC)
www.austrac.gov.au  

 

Financial performance

 

Our aim is to be a quality investment for our shareholders by driving efficiencies, identifying strategic opportunities and ensuring our leaders are committed to our performance. It is also our responsibility to provide shareholders with honest and clearly understandable information about our operations.
 
We maintain stringent cost and asset quality surveillance and aim to increase loan approvals, retail deposits, loans under management and total assets under management in a prudent manner.
 
Maintaining credit quality, reducing bad debts and tightly managing margins and risk are also priorities. The Audit Committee is charged with making recommendations to the Board on the adequacy of external and internal audit. While the Risk Committee recommends to the Board the parameters of our risk management strategy, monitors our risk profile and oversees inherent risks.

Detailed information about our financial performance is available through the financial disclosures section of our website.  
 

Transparency and communications


We operate openly and honestly and provide shareholders with ready access to balanced and clearly understandable information.
 
Continuous disclosures are made to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) and where appropriate, information is provided to media to ensure communications have the greatest possibility of reaching investors and the general market.
 
The Market Disclosure Policy provides a framework to help us keep the market informed of material information and enhance communication with the market.
 
For all communications, shareholders are encouraged to receive these online rather than post to reduce our environmental footprint and to keep expenses down. To encourage this there is a dedicated Shareholder Centre on our website which contains details of financial results, ASX announcements, key dates and presentations and speeches.
 
All shareholders are sent a Notice of Meeting one month prior to the AGM either by post or email, depending on their preference. Shareholders are encouraged to attend the AGM and to ask questions of the Managing Director and the Board. Shareholder queries and comments can also be submitted via the BOQ website, the share registry or by directly contacting Investor Relations.

Further details on how we engage with shareholders is available in our corporate governance statement.
 

Share registry service


We undertake regular reviews of the service provided by the share registry and put in place a service agreement to ensure shareholders receive the best possible level of service.
 

Shareholder benefits


When you’re a BOQ shareholder, you can get much more than just a great investment. We offer various shareholder benefits to eligible shareholders.

 

Sustainable lending and responsible lending

 

Sustainable lending is about recognising our corporate and social responsibility to maintain a lending portfolio comprised of sustainable businesses. Find out more about our approach to sustainable lending.

 

Lending responsibly is about reducing our risk and protecting our customers from financial hardship which is fundamental to the success of our business. Following are some of the procedures in place to ensure we remain responsible when lending:

 

  • We require at least one independent and experienced lender to view and approve every credit submission to bring objectivity and control to each decision.
  • Authority to approve larger and more complex risk is restricted to skilled Risk Assessment Managers independent of line management.
  • We manage our portfolios to limit concentrations in terms of risk quality, geography, industry, product, maturity and large exposure aggregates. Portfolio Management allows us to grade and control the size and risk profile of our loan book.
  • We are committed to a program of developing line and Risk Assessment Managers so they can confidently and skilfully manage risk.
  • We don’t provide credit for any illegal business or for purposes incompatible with our standing in the community.
  • Customers are encouraged to develop a personal relationship with their manager who can explain the terms and conditions of our products. Managers with personal relationships with their customers are also more apt at identifying and assisting customers who encounter financial difficulty.
  • Our lending criteria undergoes regular and rigorous reviews.