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Loving local with Bank of Queensland

Jack Hayes

There have been many casualties during this once-in-a-100-year pandemic.

New businesses or old favourites, the effects have been wide reaching and undiscriminating.

No community in the country has borne witness to these impacts quite like Docklands.

It brings great joy, however, not only to this masthead, but the wider community as well, to find the success stories; the businesses that managed to stay open, the ones that adapted to a life in lockdown, that were lucky enough to push through, and are now reaping the rewards.

One of those fortunate businesses is Bank of Queensland (BOQ) at the District Docklands.

Although part of a national network, BOQ Docklands runs on an owner-manager model and with more than 10 years of service to the local community, that model has proven to be a resounding success for not only its branch, but a huge swathe of Docklanders.

BOQ Docklands owner-manager, Josephine Tan, has pinned the success on her business’s ability to stay agile in what has been the most trying 20 months.

“Because we had lockdowns for such a long time, we had to find new ways to reach our customers,” Ms Tan said. “As we are a personal bank, we have direct lines. You can reach us any time, whereas with other banks you call a generic number, wait on hold and get diverted to a head office.”

“We have been one of the fortunate businesses who have been able to stay open and have seen real growth throughout the pandemic.”

 

Money will always be a very big part of people’s lives, and if we can educate and service people on how to best use and protect it, we feel very privileged.

 

A staunch supporter of the local community, Ms Tan has spent time as a committee member of local business group the Docklands Chamber of Commerce, she has sponsored local events and is a regular contributor to the Docklands News.

Now, as Docklands begins to tread out of lockdown, Ms Tan is playing a role as part banking expert and part educator to a community eager to learn.

“Not only have we been an essential part of the community, but our growing role has also been with educating our customers. Educating them on how to bank online, how to avoid scams, how to maintain account security,” Ms Tan said.

“We have introduced the Pocket Banker by BOQ. We had to solve the question of how to service those people who want to borrow money but can’t come to the bank, and they can’t have their documents verified.”

“Pocket Banker allows us to interview out customers, process identification and supporting documents through an app, making it incredibly easy for our clients to do their banking remotely, but ensuring it is safe and secure.”

With BOQ Docklands offering instant $3000 cashback for refinancing loans of at least $250,000, $2000 cashback when to take out a BOQ investor loan, and $1 Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) up to 85 per cent for first home buyers, lending specialist Melissa O’Beirne said they had seen a huge flood of the owner-occupier market in Docklands.

“We have met a lot of people who have moved into Docklands for the convenience and saw the growing appeal of the community and everything we have here,” Ms O’Beirne said.

“As a small and agile bank, we have greater adaptability than the big banks. We have won back a lot of customers with our $3000 cashback deal. Ones who have looked around, assessed their options, and realised we can provide them with the best service and the best deals.”

“We love our customers, and we missed them during lockdowns, but it has been so great to see them become more independent and with the skills to manage their money digitally.” •

For more information: boq.com.au

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