Adelaide’s First Locally Owned Bank Still Turning Heads

Tuesday, 20/05/2008

South Australia’s first and only privately-owned bank branch – the Bank of Queensland in Pirie Street – has achieved a major milestone, celebrating its first birthday.

However, even after a year, Owner-Manager Christopher Roper said he continued to get questions from people walking by about whether he really owned the bank and how the unique franchise model could facilitate things like superior service and better decisions-making.

“Being such a new concept to the South Australian market, I think it takes people a while to get their head around the concept of a local banker being personally responsible for BOQ’s business in a particular area under a franchise-style arrangement,” Christopher said.

“It makes sense really, because as Owner-Manager you take more time to get to know your customers than a corporate manager does and we are also motivated to go the extra mile.

“Because, at the end of the day, we are a local small business like any other and our business is no better than the quality of the service we provide and the satisfaction of our customers.”

Christopher said the branch was more like a private bank than a regular corporate branch.

“In effect, I become my customers’ personal bank manager – I look after their queries personally and I give them my mobile number so they can call me any time,” he said.

“With the branch centrally located in the CBD, a lot of customers are time-poor professionals and executives who don’t have time to spend in a bank queue and really appreciate this level of service.

“It goes to show that people are realising that we are different to the other banks and that we have done what we promised to do when we opened – to return friendly, face-to-face banking to the local community.

“Many of our customers have commented on the advantages of dealing directly with people they know and trust for their banking and finance needs.

“I would like to thank the community for their strong support for what was a year ago an unusual concept – a bank that is owned by the people who serve behind the counter,” Christopher said.

Bank of Queensland is located at 151 Pirie Street and can be contacted directly on 8402 4155.